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Pro-inflammatory effects of e-cigarette vapour condensate on human alveolar macrophages
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  • Published on:
    The importance of experimental conditions in the assessment of products relevant to human consumption
    • Massimo Caruso, Biomedical Researcher Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (MEDCLIN), University of Catania, Italy
    • Other Contributors:
      • Rosalia Emma, Postdoctoral Researcher
      • Riccardo Polosa, Full Professor of Internal Medicine

    Although electronic cigarettes (ECs) are a much less harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes, there is concern as to whether long-term ECs use may cause risks to human health. There are reasonable concerns and should be elucidated as soon as possible to learn how to best employ these products, causing the least possible damage to users.
    Scott and colleagues aimed at define whether e-cig vapors have a negative impact on human alveolar macrophages (AMs) viability and function (1). They tested human AMs from lung resection specimens from healthy donors by exposing these cells to the electronic cigarette vapour condensate (ECVC).
    First of all, the authors dedicated a detailed explanation to the method used to condensate the vapour, but the protocol used to generate vapour is quite ambiguous, omitting to indicate puff volume, puff number, and in particular if the pump used to aspirate the vapors were able to generate the correct puff profile (2). This is a crucial step in the validation process of an exposure method, because if the vapours are generated with incorrect regimes, they can lead to the production of inaccurate ECVC and thus to distorted results invalidating all the conclusions of the study. We think the author could detail the regimen employed for vapour generation.
    Furthermore, airway macrophages are resident in the connective tissue and not exposed directly to the liquid-air interface, therefore the method used for the exposition of these cells...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    MC and RE declares non Competing Interest. RP is full-time employee of the University of Catania, Italy. In relation to his work in the area of tobacco control and respiratory diseases, RP has received lecture fees and research funding from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, CV Therapeutics, NeuroSearch A/S, Sandoz, MSD, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, Duska Therapeutics, and Forest Laboratories. He has also served as a consultant for Pfizer, Global Health Alliance for treatment of tobacco dependence, CV Therapeutics, NeuroSearch A/S, Boehringer Ingelheim, Duska Therapeutics, Forest Laboratories, ECITA (Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association, in the UK) and Health Diplomat (consulting company that delivers solutions to global health problems with special emphasis on harm minimization). Lecture fees from a number of European electronic cigarette industry and trade associations (including FIVAPE in France and FIESEL in Italy) were directly donated to vaper advocacy no-profit organizations. He is currently scientific advisor for LIAF, Lega Italiana Anti Fumo (Italian acronym for Italian Anti Smoking League) and Head of the European Technical Committee for standardization on “Requirements and test methods for emissions of electronic cigarettes” (CEN/TC 437; WG4).
  • Published on:
    Impact of electronic cigarette on our health
    • Nilanga Aki BANDARA, Undergraduate Student/Research Assistant University of British Columbia
    • Other Contributors:
      • Vahid Mehrnoush, Research coordinator

    According to recent study published by Sebastian et al., (1) electronic cigarette vapor impairs the activity of alveolar macrophages, which engulf and remove dust particles, bacteria, and allergens that have evaded the other mechanical defenses of the respiratory tract. This study finding is important and it shows that the long term health impact of e-cigarettes use may be more harmful than we know (2).

    Meanwhile, industry, tobacco research community and the online information are promoting electronic cigarette as a less harmful tobacco cessation tool. However, before more leeway to advertise the harm-reduction benefits of vaping products, we believe that the first step would be to establish whether vaping products are indeed safer tobacco cessation device or harm reduction tool (3). Moreover, currently available evidence (including clinical guidelines and position statements of credible medical organizations) based information need to ensure that people are protected from commercial interests and are able to make informed decisions based on current best evidence on electronic cigarette and its long term health effects (3). It is our moral obligation that we should not be promoted electronic cigarette to our children and people those who never wanted to smoke tobacco. At the same time, it is important to promote the proven non-tobacco nicotine products such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (gum or inhalators) to smokers those who are sincerely wanted to quit.

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    Conflict of Interest:
    Aki Nilanga Bandara
    Founding Chair-Global coalition to empower adolescent and youth on harmful therapeutic interventions to prevent combustible tobacco use.
    Undergraduate student, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 Canada.
    Dr. Vahid Mehrnoush
    Senior Advisor-Global coalition to empower adolescent and youth on harmful therapeutic interventions to prevent combustible tobacco use.
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada.