The tobacco smoking pandemic is one that had been tainted over the years and to bring up a decent solution,the e-cigarette was introduced. And if you think this tech is too complex for Kenya, there are vape shops here selling them for around Kes. 5,000. This is alongside various vape juices starting at about Kes.2,500.
But if you had turned to this worldwide culture, you might want to stop after you read this. The e-cigarette has been helpful to many that wanted to still feed their addiction but in a healthy way. This is because vaping does not necessarily require you to inhale tobacco that has been a major cause for cancer across the globe.
But with this being popular especially in western countries, a new study may have tainted it for life. There has been growing cases of mysterious illnesses leading to deaths in the US with the latest being reported on Tuesday.
The patients whose symptoms majorly included breathing difficulties and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea were found with no viral or bacterial infections. Yet so far, the only common link between these patients was that they had all recently vaped.
And with this being seemingly dangerous, a research was done and published yesterday adding a piece to the unsolved puzzle. The researchers found that while mice exposed to e-cigarette vapour didn’t develop the same diseases as cigarette-smoking mice, they did develop another worrying set of problems.
According to the findings, inhaling just e-cigarette without nicotine affected important cells that defend the mice’s lungs against infections. A pulmonologist (Google it)and head of the study, Farrah Kheradmand, says those changes mean the lungs’ defences against bacteria and viruses are “compromised,”. This then left the mice with a dysfunctional lung immune system.
This study has been reported as the first conducted to look at how e-cigarettes alter lung function. And while almost no one inhales perfect untainted air, the lungs are shielded from contaminants by a thin layer of lipids that coat the lungs and some very important cells called macrophages.
As the study found, the solvents in vape cartridges upset the dynamic by damaging the lipids and compromising the macrophages’ cleanup work.
Other than just making them less effective, the solvents alter them completely and divert them from their intended function. Basically, “your immune system is out of balance”. And since the system is not prepared, you start getting sick.
But since this study cannot just explain a growing epidemic that has risen to almost 200 in the US alone, more is yet to be studied. “Mice are not humans. They are not a perfect model”. So there could still be more or less to this. Either way, be careful if you had thought of buying one.