In case you weren't aware, exposure to smoke from conventional cigarettes is considered a critical risk factor for pneumonia. Which is why switching to vaping might just help you avoid that terrible affliction. According to a study published just two days ago in Applied and Environmental Microbiology; "Exposure to e-cigarette vapor containing nicotine had no impact on the ability of Streptococcus pneumoniae strain TIGR4 to infect mouse models."
In a interesting study of where perhaps science didn't really ask why, but rather why not, a team of researchers from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette set out to determine whether e-cigarettes might boost the risk of pneumonia. According to the report; "S. pneumonia is the most frequent cause of pneumonia in children five years and under, as well as adults older than 65, and immune-compromised individuals."
In the study the investigators compared the effects on S. pneumoniae of exposure to a strawberry flavored eLiquid which also contained nicotine, and the same flavored eLiquid with no nicotine, cigarette smoke, and with no cigarette-related exposure.
As compared to controls, nicotine containing e-cigarette vapor induced major changes in gene expression of pneumococcus, affecting 264 genes, mostly involved in metabolism and stress response.
Nicotine free e-cigarette vapor changed altered expression of just 14 genes, mostly genes that are involved in sugar transport and metabolism, and only modestly, said corresponding author Ritwij Kulkarni, PhD, Assistant Professor of Immunology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
By comparison, cigarette smoke altered expression in 982 genes, nearly 4 times as much as the nicotine vapor and over 70 times as much as the nicotine free vapor.
"Interestingly, neither nicotine containing nor nicotine free e-cigarette vapor altered the ability of pneumococci to cause lung infection in a mouse model of infection," said Dr. Kulkarni, continuing; "Our work is part of a long series of observations coming from a number of research labs trying to define what effects e-cigarette vapor exposure may have on human health, and to differentiate between the effects of flavoring chemicals and nicotine."
Pneumonia causes about 50,000 deaths annually in the US, making it one of the greatest causes of death by infectious disease. "Exposure to cigarette smoke is a key risk factor for pneumonia because it affects the physiology and immune responses of the respiratory tract and augments the virulence of pathogens colonizing the nasopharyngeal mucosa," according to the report.
What do you think about this study? Is it refreshing to see actual science being done to investigate the effects of vaping rather than a bunch of "think of the children" and "ban flavoring" hysterical nonsense? Do you think mouse modeling experiments are even valid or are they just another way for researchers to input some variables and come out with research so they can collect their diplomas?