By Alexandra Thompson Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 12:42 GMT, 1 March 2019 | Updated: 12:42 GMT, 1 March 2019
E-cigarettes are not safe for your lungs, researchers have declared on the back of another worrying study into vaping.
Scientists found vapers are nearly twice as likely to suffer wheezing and difficulty breathing than those who do not smoke or use e-cigs.
These symptoms occur when the airways become inflamed and narrow, which can lead to COPD, acid reflux, heart failure and even lung cancer.
While e-cigarettes are generally thought to be less harmful than cigarettes, studies have linked their use to heart disease and cancer.
E-cigarettes 'cause signs of lung damage', scientists have warned (stock)
The latest research, by the University of Rochester Medical Center, adds to the growing fears over the devices.
'The take-home message is electronic cigarettes are not safe when it comes to lung health,' study author Dr Deborah Ossip, a professor in the department of public health sciences, said.
'The changes we're seeing with vaping, both in laboratory experiments and studies of people who vape, are consistent with early signs of lung damage, which is very worrisome.'
Vaping is on the rise, with nearly 13 per cent of adults in the US having tried e-cigarettes, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
And in the UK, 19.4 per cent of adults have tried an e-cig and 5.5 per cent still vape, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The flavourings in electronic cigarettes may damage blood vessels in the same way as heart disease, according to research published in June.
The chemicals used to give the vapour flavours, such as cinnamon, strawberry and banana, can cause inflammation in cells in the arteries, veins and heart.
They causes the body to react in a way that mimics the early signs of heart disease, heart attacks or strokes, the study by Boston University found.
Other recent studies have also suggested smoking e-cigarettes could cause DNA mutations which lead to cancer, and enable pneumonia-causing bacteria to stick to the lungs easier.
Researchers at New York University subjected human bladder and lung cells to e-cigarette vapor, which is marketed as being healthier than tobacco.
They found the cells mutated and became cancerous much faster than expected and mice exposed to the vapour also suffered significant DNA damage.
In another study, scientists at Queen Mary University, London, found vaping makes users more likely to catch pneumonia – just like smoking tobacco or breathing in traffic fumes.
The vapour from e-cigarettes helps bacteria which cause the condition to