New US study: Vaping Less Harmful to Lungs Than Smoking
Due to their small size, the particles emitted by e-cigarette vapor can reach deep into the lungs, so several studies have looked at how these particles affect pulmonary cells. Most of these studies have reported that e-cigarette vapor is less toxic than cigarette smoke, however some toxicity has been reported depending on the the dose and the flavoring of the e-liquid inhaled.
The study published on Respiratory Research used calf lung surfactant extract and mimicked lung mechanics, while measuring its surface tension. The results indicated that regardless of its flavoring, e-cigarette vapor did not affect the ability of surfactant to reduce surface tension. In contrast, conventional cigarettes significantly inhibited the ability of surfactant to reduce surface tension upon compression.
“While both e-cigarette vapor and conventional cigarette smoke affect surfactant lateral structure, only cigarette smoke disrupts surfactant interfacial properties,” concluded the study authors, adding, “The surfactant inhibitory compound in conventional cigarettes is tar, which is a product of burning and is thus absent in e-cigarette vapor.”