Switch to vaping restores lungs defence against infection

A new study conducted by the University of Catania has found that making the switch from smoking to vaping can restore the lungs defence against harmful substances that cause infection and inflammation.

99% less toxic chemicals
Our lungs contain tiny hair-like structures that use mucus to trap and evacuate harmful substances like viral and bacterial pathogens out of the body, to prevent infection and inflammation. This is a process known as mucociliary clearance, or MCC. The study looked at the impact that switching to e-cigarettes or heat-not-burn devices has on MCC efficiency.

Cigarette smoke contains a number of chemicals that are toxic to these cilia and increase the amount of mucus in lungs. This thick, dense mucus is hard for the damaged cilia to move, meaning that more viral and bacterial pathogens remain in the lungs leading to an increased risk of infection.

Traditional cigarettes are known to release a number of harmful substances such as formaldehyde and acrolein which are proven to be cilia-toxic. E-cigarettes and heat-not-burn devices have been found to release up to 99% less cilia-toxic chemicals, allowing the cilia to self-repair and regain normal function.

Those who switch regain protection
The efficiency of MCC function is measured using saccharin test transit time (STTT), measuring the amount of time it takes from a saccharin tablet being placed in the nose, to when the person can detect the sweet taste of the tablet.

When comparing the STTT of former smokers, never smokers, e-cigarettes users and heat-not-burn users, the study found that no significant differences were observed. The average time for each of these groups was 7 – 8 minutes. However, when comparing this with the results of current smokers, the average time went up to 13 minutes, showing a substantial decrease in MCC efficiency.

“Complete reversal of damage”
After making the switch the cilia will start to work more efficiently, and the person may develop a ‘functional/purposeful’ cough that can last 2-3 weeks.

Professor Polosa, lead author of the study, explains;

“Cough is a natural defence mechanism that – besides protecting from inhaling foreign bodies into the bronchial tree – helps clear excessive bronchial secretions.”

This is the body’s way of clearing the excess mucus that has accumulated due to the previous exposure to tobacco smoke and is an indication of restoration of MCC function. So, if you have recently made the switch and are finding you are coughing more than usual, this is actually a really good sign!

The study concluded that those that have switched to vaping or heat-not-burn devices have regained their primary protection against lung infections and inflammation, and this could also help protect against lung diseases and slow the progression of existing lung diseases.

Professor Polosa describes this “complete restoration of MCC efficiency” as “a remarkable demonstration of complete reversal of damage to the airways”.

If you are considering a stop smoking attempt and want to learn more about vaping and heat-not-burn devices, pop in to your local Evapo store, or head to our blog to find lots more information on alternatives to smoking.

At a glance
·A new study has found that making the switch from smoking to vaping can restore the lungs defence against infection

·Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that are toxic to the cilia in your lungs and increase mucus production, making it harder for the cilia to remove harmful substances

·“This is a remarkable demonstration of complete reversal of damage to the airways” – Professor Polosa, lead author of the study, University of Catania.