Pulmonary specialist experiments e-cigs effect on respiratory airways

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Liquid nicotine dispensed in e-cigarettes, even when smoked, contain harmful substances and carcinogens that could lead to problems in the lungs. (vaping360/Flickr Creative Commons)

Liquid nicotine dispensed in e-cigarettes, even when smoked, contain harmful substances and carcinogens that could lead to problems in the lungs. (vaping360/Flickr Creative Commons)

With the use e-cigs, many health risks can arise, according to a study by a University of Connecticut researcher.

Dr. Mario F. Perez, a pulmonary specialist from UConn Health, said liquid nicotine dispensed in the e-cigarettes, even when smoked, contains harmful substances and carcinogens that could lead to problems in the lungs. People who continually use e-cigs are more likely to have a irritated upper respiratory tract, Perez said.

According to UConn Today, Dr. Perez is currently doing a study examining if e-cigs cause inflamed airways. Perez will be comparing his results with those from healthy nonsmokers. This study will also be looking at the effects of the different flavoring of e-cigs on human airways, Perez said to UConn Today.

Vaping and the use of e-cigs have been on an upward trend. There has been an increase in the number of young adults who are using electronic cigarettes, according to a study done between in 2014 by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to CDC, 21.6 percent of 18-24 year olds use e-cigs, compared to 16.6 percent of e-cigs usage among 25-44 year olds.

Most high schoolers and college students feel the need to use an e-cig to follow what is increasingly becoming a social norm.

“Many students think that using e-cigs makes them look cool. Students like the aesthetic of smoking and believe that e-cigs aren’t really that harmful,” Jude Icoy, first semester physiology and neurobiology major said.

However, e-cigs may not be safer than “traditional” cigarettes. According to the American Lung Association, e-cigs can impact adolescent brain development and can lead to an impairment of their cognitive and behavioral skills.

Although the topic of e-cigarettes often produces many opinions, much more research is needed to determine if they are a healthy alternative to traditional smoking, Perez said to UConn Today.


Shivani Padhi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at shivani.padhi@uconn.edu.

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