Animal study shows flavored e-cigarettes may worsen asthma

Researchers from the University of Technology Sydney, University of Vermont and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research conducted an animal study in mice to determine the effect of flavored e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, on allergic airways disease. Results of the study showed that some flavored e-cigarettes may alter asthma pathophysiology even when used without nicotine.

In this study the flavour Black Licorice exaggerated airway inflammation whereas Cinnacide had the opposite effect, suppressing airway inflammation. Additionally, Cinnacide increased airway sensitivity and Banana Pudding flavour exaggerated the level of tissue scarring. All e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine suppressed airway inflammation, consistent with the known anti-inflammatory properties of nicotine.

Results of the study are published in Nature Scientific Reports.

Reports of burns with electronic cigarettes

Dr. Gary Vercruysse and his colleagues from the University of Arizona reports three thermal burn injuries following use of electronic cigarettes. These reports appears in the journal Burns and points to lithium ion battery failure as the culprit.

The researchers’ study comes at a time of increasing scrutiny of lithium ion batteries contained in so-called electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS, which include electronic cigarettes.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Navy suspended the use, possession and storage of ENDS aboard ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, craft and heavy equipment. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Tobacco Products hosted a science-based public workshop on April 19 and 20 in Silver Springs, MD, to gather information and stimulate discussion about these batteries.

Citation: Bauman, Zachary M., Jordan Roman, Matthew Singer, and Gary A. Vercruysse. “Canary in the coal mine—Initial reports of thermal injury secondary to electronic cigarettes.” Burns 43, no. 3 (2017).
Adapted from press release by the University of Arizona.