E-cigarettes may cause or worsen acute respiratory disease

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E-cigarette use
E-cigarette use

(HealthDay News) -- The emissions from electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have distinct properties from those produced by combustion processes and may cause or worsen acute respiratory diseases, according to a report published by RTI International.

Jonathan Thornburg, Ph.D., and colleagues from RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., developed a sampling and collection system to characterize e-cigarette vapor and aerosol emissions. The system generated repeatable particle size and mass output. Two type of e-cigarette liquids were assessed using a cartomizer style device. The researchers also used published smoking pattern data for a 14-year-old adolescent male and the collected e-cigarette emission particle size distribution data as inputs into a lung deposition model.

The researchers found that the properties of the aerosol and vapors produced by e-cigarettes were different from those produced by combustion processes, and consequently the impact of emissions will be different for "smokers" and those exposed to secondary emissions. The lung deposition model results predicted 47 percent of the inhaled emissions were deposited in the lungs, with 40 percent deposited in the alveolar region. Among youth, e-cigarette use may cause or worsen acute respiratory disease, including asthma and bronchitis, as a result of chemicals contained in the particles emitted from the e-cigarette. In order to reliably compare e-cigarette products, standardized approaches need to be employed to understand the physical, chemical, and toxicological properties.

"E-cigarettes may cause or worsen acute respiratory diseases, including asthma and bronchitis, among youth because chemicals contained in the particles emitted may irritate airways or worsen pre-existing conditions," the authors write.

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