Juul me… ANOTHER study finds e-cigarettes cause DNA damage in lungs similar to normal cigarettes
- Researchers at McGill University, Canada, exposed mice to 60 puffs a day
- They found that rodents showed signs of lung damage within a month
- Vaping has become an epidemic in American youth amid glitzy advertising
Just one month of vaping leads to DNA damage similar to smoking tobacco, another damning e-cigarette study suggests.
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, exposed mice to the equivalent of 60 puffs of a mango-flavored Juul device per day for four weeks.
The rodents suffered from cellular and molecular changes that have been linked to cancer formation in traditional cigarette smokers.
America is currently in the throes of a childhood vaping epidemic that has been blamed on kid-friendly flavorings and glitzy storefronts.
Just one month of vaping leads to ‘widespread changes’ in the lungs and increases inflammation, another study suggests (file photo)
At least 2.6 million American children ages 11 to 18 use e-cigarettes, according to official figures, and the number is rising.
In the latest study, scientists exposed mice to air from a Juul device, which contained nicotine.
One-third of the mice were blasted with 60-Juul puffs per day, administered in three 20-minute sessions three hours apart.
This was to mimic the low usage of the vaping devices, the researchers said.
In a November survey, one in 10 teens admitted to vaping within five minutes of waking up — a sign of addiction — while a quarter said they vaped daily.
The rest of the mice were exposed to e-liquid used in vapors, or just air in the lab.
E-liquid – used to create the vapor – contains propylene glycol, a by-product of petroleum, and vegetable glycerin, from vegetable oil.
The research focused on Juul, but studies show that other brands also have a harmful effect on the lungs.
Many vape devices contain e-liquids that contain hundreds of chemicals that can be harmful to the lungs. They also contain nicotine, which can lead to vaping addiction.
After four weeks, the scientists killed the mice and examined their lungs for signs of the effects of Juul machines.
The results showed that mice exposed to e-cigarette vapors had higher levels of white blood cells in their lungs, indicating higher levels of inflammation.
Testing also revealed changes in hundreds of genes in macrophages – another type of white blood cell involved in the immune response to infection or damage.
They said the changes observed suggested an increased risk of vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI).
Symptoms of the condition include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and hemoptysis — or coughing up blood. In severe cases, this can result in death.
As of 2019, thousands of cases have been reported in the US, with the condition strongly linked to e-cigarettes.
The researchers concluded: ‘E-cigarettes are thus not inert and can cause significant cellular and molecular changes in the lungs.
Dr. Carolyn Baglole, an experimental medicine expert at McGill University, said: ‘The health effects of vaping are not known.
“Our results show that inhaling the vapor generated by a popular e-cigarette brand causes widespread changes in the lungs.
“Data further highlighting that these products are not inert and can lead to lung damage with prolonged use.”
She added: ‘We show that low levels of chronic exposure to aerosols have local immunomodulatory effects and dramatically alter protein and RNA expression in key lung sites.’
DailyMail.com reached out to Juul for comment.
Dual use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarette use simultaneously exacerbates the risk
– E-cigarettes and traditional combustible cigarettes can cause numerous inflammatory and heart problems on their own
– With simultaneous use, the health effects can be even worse
– Prolonged use of either caused damage to the blood vessels, although each seemed to cause some adverse effects that the other did not, suggesting that dual use of the products exacerbates the damage.
– Blood from e-cigarette users caused more permeability in the blood vessel cells than the blood from both tobacco smokers and non-users, increasing the risk of cell damage and heart disease.
– Blood from tobacco smokers had higher levels of certain circulating biomarkers of cardiovascular risk
– Lead author of the study said using both products together ‘could increase their health risks compared to using them separately’