Government officials have understandably warned people to quit smoking e-cigarettes amid the deaths of several people, who were otherwise healthy but ended up in emergency rooms across the country citing vaping-related lung damage.
The government officials have resorted to using various mediums (especially social media platforms) to warn people about smoking e-cigarettes (vaping) after following the untimely deaths of numerous vapers.
While the illness has been dubbed as “mysterious” due to lack of information, new research is likely to shed light on the exact cause. As part of the study, researchers used vape juice (the drug delivery liquid) on laboratory mice and found it led to similar lung damage.
One of the researchers, Farrah Kheradmand was shocked when they found the vape juice was the culprit behind the lung damage, without even adding nicotine. Kheradmand, who is a professor of pulmonary medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, is also the senior author of the newly published study.
“It has been manipulated to a point where vapers feel they get a very good hit in their lungs,” Kheradmand said. “It’s the same kind of feeling as a cigarette smoke inhalation gives you — that you feel like something is really going down to your lungs.”
“Their immune cells were … not working well, even a very small dose of influenza virus killed most of the mice who had been breathing the vape juice,” she added.
So why we consider these products safe?
The vape juice comprises ingredients that have been approved by the FDA, but for a completely different use, Kheradmand pointed out. Propylene glycol is used as a solvent to dissolve and deliver medication in ICU (Intensive care unit). However, in these cases, the propylene glycol is being given directly into a vein.
She says, “FDA has never, ever even tested or been asked to determine whether these things, these chemical solvents, are actually safe [for] inhalation, let alone chronic inhalation.”