Warnings over the safety of electronic cigarettes

Experts say e-cigarettes could lead to lung damage

The e-cigarette, introduced as a less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes, could still cause lung damage, claims new research.

Researchers at the University of Athens have found there to be an immediate increase in airway resistance when using the product, lasting for 10 minutes. This allows less oxygen to be absorbed by the blood.

It is believed there are 650,000 smokers who use the inhalers as a substitute to help combat smoking, with 2 million Brits trying an e-cigarette at least once.

Appearing a cross between a pen and a cigarette, the device delivers nicotine through vapour rather than smoke. Although there is no combustion, the nicotine is still derived from tobacco.

In a statement, one of the study’s authors, professor Christina Gratziou, said, ‘We do not yet know whether unapproved nicotine delivery products, such as e-cigarettes, are safer than normal cigarettes, despite marketing claims that they are less harmful.

‘We found an immediate rise in airway resistance in our group of participants, which suggests e-cigarettes can cause immediate harm after smoking the device.

‘More research is needed to understand whether this harm also has lasting effects in the long-term.’

The findings were presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Vienna.

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