Heating in a vaping device can cause serious lung damage, according to a new experimental study.
The results of the study showed significant lung damage due to e-cigarettes with nickel-chromium alloy heating elements. The results were confirmed whether nicotine, vitamin E oil, or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were used, which were previously thought to contribute to life-threatening lung disease.
The first results, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association by researchers at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine (UCI) and Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI), were seen in a larger study looking at the effect of e-cigarette and other e-cigarette use on the cardiovascular system. During their experiments, researchers observed lung damage associated with e-cigarette use immediately after switching from a vaping device with a stainless steel heating element to a device that used a nickel-chromium alloy (NC).
“The results were so impressive that we felt it necessary to publish the initial results as early as possible so that e-cigarette users can be warned earlier, especially given that e-cigarette users are at increased risk of Covid-19,” said senior author Robert A. Cloner, M.D., Chief Scientist at HMRI and Professor of Medicine at USC.
“Within an hour of starting the experiment, we observed signs of severe respiratory distress, including shortness of breath, wheezing and shortness of breath,” said Michael Kleinman, Ph.D., professor of occupational health and environmental medicine at UCI School of Medicine and a member of the UCI Center. Occupational and environmental hygiene.
“After analyzing the lung tissue of the subjects of the study, we found that they were seriously damaged, and we observed other serious changes, such as lung lesions, accumulation of red blood cells, obliteration of the alveolar spaces and, in some cases, pneumonitis.”
The current study looked at the effect of inhaling e-cigarette vapors on heart function in a well-known preclinical experimental model. For nearly a year, none of the subjects exposed to vapors from stainless steel devices, with or without additives, suffered from respiratory distress, and only one of them had less than 10% of the area of inflammation in the lungs.
After the new e-cigarettes were introduced, the affected subjects developed severe respiratory failure with difficulty breathing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Lung damage occurred without nicotine, THC, or vitamin E supplementation; and may have also been due to higher power settings on vaping devices. These preliminary studies will be accompanied by additional studies in the future to systematically try to determine the cause of the lung problem.
While further research is needed, these results indicate that certain devices and power settings may play a key role in the development of e-cigarettes in the same way as additives, Cloner said. “The harm associated with e-cigarettes and vaping simply cannot be overstated.”
Vaping has been shown to cause high blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, and the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. Heating elements in commercially available e-cigarettes are usually made of stainless steel, nickel-chromium or nichrome, or titanium.
The diagnosis of Lung Injury Associated with Use of Cigarettes or Electronic Cigarettes (EVALI) was recognized as an official medical condition in the United States in June 2019. The peak of such cases was reached in September 2019. In March 2020, 2800 EVALI cases were reported in the US, of which 68 were fatal.
The patients were usually young male e-cigarette users whose CT scans showed inflammation and damage to the lungs. It should be noted that EVALI can mimic many of the features of Covid-19 pneumonia.