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Research: An e-cigarette pair has very limited effects on genes

Recent studies show that steam from an e-cigarette has a very limited effect on gene expression compared to cigarette smoke, with the same or even higher doses of nicotine.

British American Tobacco researchers have exposed the human respiratory cell model (MucilAir ™) to e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke to assess their comparable effect on gene expression, according to the eSmoking Association: vawoo

MucilAir ™ airway tissues were exposed to smoke from a reference conventional cigarette (3R4F) and vapor from the e-cigarette (Vype ePen) respectively for a continuous period of one hour. Two doses of steam were tested in an amount such that the dose of nicotine was equal to and twice as high as that which reaches the cells with cigarette smoke. Then, to measure cell response, scientists mapped the genes 24 and 48 hours after exposure to smoke and steam, respectively.

For tissues exposed to smoke, researchers found an effect on 873 genes after 24 hours and 205 genes after 48 hours. In the case of exposure to steam from an e-cigarette, an effect on significantly fewer genes has been reported – 3 genes and 1 gene, respectively.

Further research revealed that exposure to cigarette smoke caused changes in gene expression associated with the development of lung cancer, pneumonia and pulmonary fibrosis, and in the case of vapor from e-cigarette, only a small effect on several genes known to be associated with with mechanisms of cell metabolism and oxidative stress.

‘Our results clearly show that cigarette smoke has a negative effect on cells, causing strong gene expression,’ said Dr James Murphy, Head of Limited Risk Justification (RRS) British American Tobacco. – However, even with the same or higher dose of nicotine, exposure to the tested pair of e-cigarettes has a very limited effect on gene expression compared to cigarette smoke, this is a clear difference – he added.

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The results obtained, which were published in “Scientific Reports” (DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-017-00852-y), are one of the more and more numerous evidence that a pair of e-cigarettes causes less damage to cells than cigarette smoke.

Previous studies by British American Tobacco have shown that the vapor from the Vype ePen e-cigarette contains about 95% less toxic substances (“Chem. Res. Toxicol”, DOI: 10.1021 / acs.chemrestox.6b00188) compared to cigarette smoke from a traditional reference cigarette (based on a list of the nine most important toxic substances that the World Health Organization recommends limiting).