Life-threatening Lung Inflammation Linked To Vaping In 16-year-old

He and others believe they have no choice but to try. The recent excellent summary of the evidence on the pulmonary effects of e-cigarettes reported multiple ways that e-cigarettes impair lungs’ ability to fight off infections: Instead, the study showed that vaping alters the function and composition of healthy lung cells. However, it cannot be said that vaping is “safer” than cigarette smoking. How to boost immune system with juice: juice recipes for immunity. The toxicologists shared their findings, here, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting.

Moreover, not all electronic cigarettes are equal when it comes to delivering the nicotine that smokers need to suppress tobacco cravings: Significance was determined by Student’s t test and corrected for multiple comparisons. Products that are labeled zero nicotine can have some degree of nicotine in them. Many vape products have higher amounts of nicotine which can make it even harder for youth to quit.

  • Most of the patients say they vaped products containing THC, the high-producing ingredient in marijuana.
  • This is especially true for vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC),” explains Blaha.

Click here to learn more about quitting smoking or vaping or to make an appointment with a UAB Medicine doctor to help you kick the nicotine habit for good. But what about current cigarette smokers? E-cigarette users and cigarette smokers had similar levels of serum cotinine, indicating similar daily levels of nicotine exposure. The FDA does not regulate these products. You’re being careless with your future. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. A lot of otherwise healthy-seeming high schoolers and young adults are getting very sick.

Also, we only “vaped” or “smoked” bacteria once and didn’t measure the effect of long-term exposure. You may not be picking up a traditional cigarette, but if you’re vaping, you’re still putting your health at risk. Between 2020-2020, corporate spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6. There have been occasional reports of similar illnesses, including one from 2020 that was tied to inhaling homemade marijuana-infused oil vapor. 1 million middle school and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2020; that number jumped to 3.

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From the Oval Office, President Trump told reporters his administration will take action after a sixth person recently died from a vaping-related lung illness. Immune health, it’s also important to regularly wash items that might carry germs, such as clothes and toys. Most e-cigarettes contain colorless, flavorless chemicals such as propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, which create an inhalable vapor when heated. You may have seen news reports of lung problems, including two deaths — one in Illinois and another in Oregon— linked to vaping.

The patients, whose symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pains, shortness of breath, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea, have no known viral or bacterial infections. Public link to podcast: To date, all 50 US states have reported “a cluster of mysterious pulmonary illnesses” that may be related to E-Cig use with at least 2,291 potential cases and 48 associated fatalities as of December 3, 2020 (Blagev et al. )Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health — smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your heart. Additional comprehensive, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies are needed to fully establish the toxicity and the pathophysiology of the ENDS product exposure, especially differentially between e-cig nicotine vs THC product vaping on human health. Figure 2 Lipids accumulate in alveolar macrophages in chronic ENDS exposure. With someone very young, repeated use of e-cigarettes can cause abnormal brain development, and has even been shown to cause cancer. To better understand the effects of ENDS on the recovery from acute infection, we next exposed mice to ENDS vapor for 3 months and infected with a sublethal dose of influenza A (20 TCID 50 /mouse).

But researchers are still scrambling to understand the health effects of e-cig use (aka vaping) and to track down the variable and undisclosed components of those vaporized mixtures. One JUUL pod contains the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes. Exposure to e-cigarettes may also broadly suppress important capacities of the innate immune system. Figure 7 One-month exposure to ENDS vapor attenuates lung-resident macrophage function. Possibilities include chemical irritation, or allergic or immune reactions to various chemicals or other substances in the inhaled vapors. The investigation is ongoing, and the agency said it will share more information as it becomes available. Most cases were among teens and young adults. Among the individuals included in this study ( n = 39), about an equal number were nonsmokers ( n = 13; 33. )

  • Instead, they suspect chemical exposure.
  • The lane normalization factors were then used to adjust each sample individually.
  • Taken together, the data shown here demonstrate that vaping e-cigarettes does not reverse smoking-induced gene expression changes and may result in immunomodulatory effects that go beyond those induced by smoking cigarettes alone.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reiterated its guidance that older Americans and people with medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic lung disease are most susceptible to coronavirus.


After comparing genetic information swabbed from the noses of smokers, vapers, and non-users of both, researchers found that smoking suppresses the activity of 53 genes involved in the immune system. Each time you vape, you’re essentially sending your immune system into attack mode. Next, subgroups were created within the vapor and fresh air groups. It also should include the forensic chemical and the toxicological studies using cell- and animal-based models along with the ex-vivo analysis of the clinical samples. 10 simple and natural ways to boost your immune system. “E-cigarettes are not 100% risk-free, but they are clearly much less harmful than smoking,” he says. “Vaping may increase the susceptibility to worsened inflammation from this THC-containing oil akin to pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire,” he said. Nasal scrape biopsies from non-smokers, smokers, and vapers showed extensive immunosuppression at the gene level with e-cigarette use.

It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. The tobacco industry is coming after young adults, just like you, by selling you “fun flavors. Delicious garlic has power to boost immune system, you’ll probably soon notice that your whole body is warming up and that your congestion is lessening. What they do know is that these products contain high concentrations of nicotine, which if swallowed, can be poisonous and cause side effects such as seizures in lungs mainly in the yound adults and teens.

Stop Vaping And E-cigarette Use 'immediately,' City Health Officials Warn

“I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point because we know so little,” said Dr. “E-cigarette use, flavorings may increase heart disease risk, study finds. EVALI is characterized by sterile exogenous pneumonitis like reaction with substantial involvement of innate immune mechanisms. 7, illustrating the broad range of users included in this study. Nicotine is highly addictive and can affect the developing brain, potentially harming teens and young adults. Exposing bacteria to vape or smoke made the bacteria more virulent in the larvae.

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By this measure, vaping had a bigger effect on genes related to immunity than smoking did. (18), citing its rising popularity among the youth. Vaping water should be a harmless, if curious, thing to do. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,479 cases of lung injury associated with vaping have been reported in 49 states and 1 U. Pod-based e-juices and flavors also induce cellular toxicity with identification of several toxic chemicals (Muthumalage et al. )

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Experts aren’t sure if vaping actually caused these lung problems, but believe the most likely culprit is a contaminant, not an infectious agent. All had used e-cigarettes within 90 days of the onset of their symptoms. In another study, the nasal scrapes from the E-Cig users showed significantly altered expression of early growth response (EGR1), ZBTB16, PIGR, PTGS2, and FKBP5 compared to the occasional E-Cig users with reduced CSF-1, CCL26, and eotaxin-3 levels that are essential for the mucosal host-defense (Martin et al. )The “safe alternative” declarations are highly questionable in light of more and more scientific studies that show harm from vaping. What you need to know," "Can vaping damage your lungs? E-cigarettes can appear like traditional cigarettes or cigars, while others look like ballpoint pens or USB devices. Among smokers, the activity of 53 genes was depressed, or lower than usual, when compared to those who neither smoked nor vaped. When vape liquids with solvents like glycerol and other oily additives heat up and cool down, those droplets can be inhaled and disrupt normal lung function.

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Evidence is mounting that shows that E-cigarettes may harm the immune system in the host, though all the mechanisms have not been fully elucidated so far. They just can’t seem to breathe normally. This was the strongest risk factor among those examined.

To determine whether the observed lipid accumulation was derived from inhaled vaporized glycerol present in ENDS, we next quantified the VG (glycerol) content in the BAL cellular fractions and found that ENDS-exposed groups did not exhibit an increased concentration of intracellular glycerol (Supplemental Figure 4), indicating that the accumulated lipid might be arising through an endogenous, rather than exogenous, source.
With 100 million smokers, India is home to 12% of all tobacco users in the world.

Ars at AAAS 2020

These cells also stimulate other immune cells by exposing them to small bits of the invaders. CSF-1 expression was significantly decreased in NLF from both cigarette smokers and e-cigarette users compared with nonsmokers ( Fig. )The researchers also discovered the vapour could interfere with the immune system, in particular by disrupting macrophages: But is vaping less harmful than smoking? 68, 1076–1080.

This analysis revealed that ENDS-exposed groups have a distinct increase in phospholipid species with a concomitant decrease in neutral triglycerides (Figure 5A). Longitudinal studies of ENDS users of nicotine, THC, or the combination of nicotine/THC products can help answer this question. Importantly, the types of lung injury reported today are not new.

  • People who vape may be putting themselves at risk of increased numbers of harmful bacteria in their bodies, as well as impaired neutrophil immunity to move into infected sites and kill the bacteria.
  • Of these, 53 genes were differentially expressed when comparing cigarette smokers and nonsmokers ( Fig.)
  • They are safer in terms of cancer risk, but if you vape for 20 or 30 years and this can cause COPD, then that's something we need to know about," he states."
  • Together, these processes control for batch effect and artifact error.
  • Between 2020 and 2020 there were another six reported cases of pneumonia-like diseases in electronic cigarette users.
  • The review concluded there was “overwhelming evidence” they were far safer than smoking and “of negligible risk to bystanders” and advised they should be available on prescription because of how successful they had been in helping people give up smoking.

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The researchers "caution against the widely held opinion that e-cigarettes are safe". They also injected Pseudomonas into healthy mice, exposed them to e-cigarette smoke over the long term and examined neutrophil migration as well as bacterial load. If it persists over longer periods, the inflammation can lead to the development of scars in the lungs, resulting in long-term breathing problems. Recovery has been an uphill climb for one young man who survived to tell his story after ECMO. But we’re finding very similar damage from heating up vaping solutions and inhaling that vapor into the lungs. The flavorings that seemed to have the most potent gene-altering effects were additives that taste like cinnamon—cinnamaldehyde—as well as butter flavors. Certain mechanistic approaches can be presented to understand the mechanisms of EVALI.


Other reports implicated the presence of aromatic/volatile hydrocarbons and oils consisting of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT oil), including terpenes and mineral oil in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) containing counterfeit vaping products. And for teens who never smoked, vaping “may actually be introducing new [health] risks,” she worries. E-cigarettes are highly heterogeneous (with various grades of severity) and evolving in design with different e-liquids with different nicotine levels (including nicotine-free), benzoic acid/benzoate, nicotine salts, and flavoring agents contribute to the variability across e-cigarette products.

However, in most of these vaping cases, patients are too sick to withstand the procedure.


Typically too small to see with the naked eye, it consists of watery fluid surrounded by a membrane or wall. In theory, these products were created to be a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, but vaping still has harmful effects. Millions of young people who didn't smoke cigarettes have taken up vaping. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth.

However, the recent escalation in acute lung injuries and their associated fatalities among ENDS or vaping product users has now brought attention to this silent epidemic via investigation into the constituents of ENDS/vaping products and their toxic effects on pulmonary health. Immune nourishing supplements, a summary to communicate evidence from systematic reviews to the public improved understanding and accessibility of information:. 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that there are now 149 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping reported in 15 states. Is vaping bad for you? NS, not significant; ND, none detected. Among E-Cig users, a significant increase in MUC4, a membrane-anchored mucin, and an increase in the ratio of secretory mucins MUC5AC to MUC5B has been reported compared to non-smoking participants (Reidel et al. )

The study found that inhaling just e-cigarette vapor, without any nicotine, fundamentally altered important cells that defend the mice’s lungs against infections. Significance was determined by Student’s t test or 1-way ANOVA with Bonferroni’s correction for multiple comparisons. Some substances found in e-cigarette vapor have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Meeting with a doctor that is skilled or comfortable in helping youth stop smoking through nicotine replacement items such as patches or potentially medications could be a good place to start.


In that instance, a nicotine-delivering electronic cigarette may play a short-term role so long as it is used in conjunction with an evidenced-based behavioral therapy regimen designed first to eliminate smoking and then to eliminate vaping. Once admitted to hospital, his condition deteriorated rapidly, and he developed respiratory failure, necessitating external assistance for his heart and lungs to work properly, otherwise known as extracorporeal membrane oxygen, or ECMO for short, plus intravenous antibiotics and steroids. There are several other compounds and ingredients that could be potentially harmful when inhaled as vapors/aerosol and thus, there is an urgent need to analyze the cartridges used and study the pulmonary toxicology, including chemistry, aerosol physico-biological interactions, and pathophysiological mechanisms of counterfeit/bootleg cartridges versus medical dispensary products. Shortness of breath, chest pain, and severe breathing issues are only a few of the serious symptoms that have been reported. One way we’ll learn more is by people reporting possible vaping-related health problems to the FDA — you can let them know if you’ve had such problems. The top five genes with changed expression in cigarette smokers were Early Growth Response 1 ( EGR1 ), Dipeptidyl-Peptidase 4 ( DPP4 ), Chemokine (C-X-C Motif) Ligand 2 ( CXCL2 ), Chemokine (C-X3-C Motif) Receptor 1 ( CX3CR1 ), and CD28 Molecule ( CD82 ). The risks include some of the following: The second is that we consider e-cigarettes as 'much safer than tobacco' at our peril," the doctors wrote in a report of the case published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood. "

5 (4), 00182–2020. NS, not significant. Male mice exposed to nicotine-laced vapors showed no gene-activity changes. Some of the cases examined by the CDC involved people who had used unlicensed vaping products bought on the street which included THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. Research shows that vaping spurs unique immune responses and immune responses similar to that of cigarettes. There were three major observations derived from this study: They moved faster still if they had been exposed to nicotine. The mayor stressed that children, in general, have not been afflicted by the virus and when they have been their symptoms have been minor.

Severe inflammation causes fluid to leak into the lungs, damaging their ability to transfer oxygen. There are other vape products that are larger handheld devices, which have a refillable tank that accepts nicotine-based liquid that often is sold in bottles at specialty vape shops. Basically, any previous lung damage increases risk for serious outcomes due to respiratory illnesses like coronavirus (COVID-19). These dwell nearly everywhere on Earth, from the bottom of the sea to inside animals. Patients need washings of their lungs for definitive diagnosis, which means a camera has to be inserted into the lungs. Scientists believe e-cigarettes are likely to be less carcinogenic than tobacco, but last month, a team from New York University School of Medicine in New York City reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that mice exposed to e-cigarettes for 54 weeks had an increased risk of lung cancer and showed changes in bladder cells that presage cancer there. In a press briefing on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed that, despite the fact that older people are generally most at risk of serious illness from coronavirus, one of the current cases in New York is an otherwise healthy 22-year-old man. This phenomenon would also explain why Wehrli and colleagues saw a reduction of oxygen flowing through blood vessels after vaping in their study, he said.


NNAL is a tobacco specific nitrosamine and metabolite of NNK [nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone (NNK), also known as 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone], which is found in tobacco smoke but not (or in negligible amounts) in e-cigarette vapor. Aside from anecdote, the best scientific evidence supporting this idea comes from a recent study that shows that if an electronic cigarette is used along with behavioral therapy, it may help some (but not all) smokers quit tobacco cigarettes completely. Based on the limited information, the "most likely" explanation is that a toxic chemical in the electronic cigarettes is causing a "severe reactive, inflammatory" response in the patients' lungs, said Dr. Others can promote the health of higher-order organisms, including birds and mammals. Of the 597 genes tested on the Nanostring nCounter Human Immunology Array, 543 genes were expressed above background in nasal biopsy samples. When the doctors tested his skin reactivity with a tiny amount of vaping fluid he got worse, so they took blood samples and analysed both vaping fluids to see if there were any possible chemical triggers. Airway immune cells were then acquired by BAL and were cytocentrifuged onto glass slides.

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First, they gobble up any invaders they encounter. The mice didn’t only breathe vapor for two weeks; the exposure was adjusted to mimic the dose that a human would receive by vaping during that timespan. Respirology 2020, 1–9. Focusing on the 7 transcription factors whose expression was decreased in both cigarette smokers and e-cigarette users, 120 genes were regulated by these transcription factors in e-cigarette users ( Fig. )

Although no firm conclusions have yet been drawn, the American Medical Association has already called on vapers to stop using e-cigarettes until the cause of the lung disease outbreak has been identified. VEA is not harmful when ingested and is found in many foods but when inhaled it can have a protective role against oxidative stress and inflammatory responses (Hybertson et al. )However, Public Health England advises they are much less harmful than smoking and people should not hesitate to use them as an aid to giving up cigarettes.

But how might THC oil be causing the damage? (20) found that right after vaping a non-nicotine-containing e-cigarette, participants had much less oxygen flowing through their blood. Is vaping safer than smoking cigarettes? ENDS exposure alters lipids in lung macrophages and ATIIs. The researchers “caution against the widely held opinion that e-cigarettes are safe”. Counseling and products that help you quit can be accessed through your own physician or the 1-800-QUIT-NOW line, a free resource that provides counseling and nicotine patches for those who qualify. From a public health perspective, they have no role as a recreational product. (C) at a concentration of 10 μg/mL or PBS vehicle.

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These types of solvents are FDA-approved for ingestion, not inhalation. While touted as a safer alternative to conventional smoking, evidence shows that they can be extremely harmful and in fact, lethal, as the recent spate of vaping-linked deaths in America shows. The results showed there's a clear need to have a rethink on just how safe flavoured e-cigarettes might be. We also compared the survival of Galleria mellonella (wax moth larvae) following infection with vaped, smoked and unexposed bacteria. Consistent with this science, analysis of deaths from corona virus in China shows that men are more likely to die than women, something that may be related to the fact that many more Chinese men smoke than women. 82 If human ciliary dysfunction is also negatively affected, as suggested by animal and cellular studies,83 the combination of reduced coughing and impaired mucociliary clearance may predispose users to increased rates of pneumonia. And data emerging in yet another study linked e-cigarette use to a form of heart disease. The small experimental study, led by Prof David Thickett, at the University of Birmingham, is published online in the journal Thorax.

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18, 2020, CDC announced a total of 2,807 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U. A few animal studies suggest that inhalation of e-cigarette vapor increases susceptibility to viral and microbial infections (47) or enhances bacterial growth/biofilm formation (20). Therefore, we next examined the lipidomic changes in the BAL cells in the same exposed groups of mice.

Exposure to ENDS and vaping products changes the phenotype and function of AMs and suppresses their efferocytotic activity that helps clear the insult. One 30-year-old woman in Illinois died last month, and on Tuesday another death was reported in Oregon. Characteristics of hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients in a nationwide outbreak of E-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury - United States, November 2020. So far, the only known link between these previously healthy patients is that they had all recently vaped. You’re inhaling unregulated ingredients. Rather, the reaction is probably caused by a "contaminant that is present in certain formulations of cannabis products" sold for vaping, possibly on the streets, he said.

A total of 358 of the 543 detectable genes were differentially expressed in at least one condition in nasal biopsy samples. The health effects of most germs, however, remain unknown. All successes and failures of this approach should be reported in the scientific literature. The most compelling question is to delineate whether the observed EVALI in the reported cases is due to e-cig nicotine/flavor of vaping products in addition to the combined THC oils, or both. Immune cells called macrophages were swollen with fat, an abnormality.