E-cigarettes haven't been around for very long, and we're only just starting to uncover what happens after years of vaping. Early-stage studies are giving us a glimpse of that future.
A December 2019 study showed that vapers were 1.29 times as likely to have emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis or obstructive pulmonary disease.
Those effects were seen after only three years of vaping.
Where does this connection come from?
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Importantly, nine of those vapers had previously been smokers.
Still, when the team introduced nicotine into lung cells outside the body, they found that those protease enzymes still increased — underlining a link between nicotine and emphysema that could play out over years of vaping.
Meanwhile, in September 2019, scientists showed that mice exposed to nicotine laden vapor could get lung tumors.
A November 2019 review suggests that vaping harms the heart in several ways, including increased inflammation, DNA damage, arterial stiffness, oxidative stress, and altered blood flow.
Some flavors have been linked to cell death. But those scientists also said that they were testing vape flavors in high concentrations that aren't comparable to real-life vaping scenarios.
Meanwhile, in March 2018, scientists surveyed 96,000 vapers.
Why does this connection exist? Right now, scientists aren't sure.