E-cigarettes may increase your lung disease risk in ways that cigarettes don't – Men's Fitness

E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular lately, particularly among people who are trying to quit smoking for good. And while e-cigs are commonly marketed as the better-for-you options, each new study on e-cigarettes’ effects seems to come to a different conclusion than the last. So whether the current consensus is that e-cigs are a great way to quit smoking or the next public health crisis, you know there’s bound to be a new, different bit of evidence shortly.

To wit: E-cigarettes not only cause some of the same negative effects as traditional cigarettes, but may also cause unique side effects that traditional cigarettes don’t cause, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In reality, though, it’s hard to compare e-cigarettes with traditional cigarettes by merely arguing which is better or worse.

“Comparing the harm of e-cigarettes with cigarettes is a little like comparing apples to oranges,” senior study author Dr. Mehmet Kesimer said, according to Eurekalert. “Our data shows that e-cigarettes have a signature of harm in the lung that is both similar and unique, which challenges the concept that switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes is a healthier alternative.”

The admittedly small study claims to be the first to use samples from human airways to explore the consequences of e-cigarette smoking, with researchers comparing sputum (the lovely mucus and bacteria present in your respiratory system) samples from 15 e-cigarette smokers, 14 cigarette smokers, and 15 nonsmokers. E-cigarette smokers and cigarette smokers both had more proteins associated with lung disease, as well as more mucus secretions associated with chronic bronchitis and asthma.

E-cigarette smokers had significantly higher levels of proteins related to “neutrophil-extracellular-traps”—an infection-fighting tool of white blood cells—which can contribute to the development of lung diseases like COPD and cystic fibrosis. Furthermore, they had more

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