E-cigarettes may be safer for your immune system than traditional ones, a new mouse study suggests.
While cigarettes are known to leave smokers more vulnerable to infections, vaping does not appear to have the same impact on pneumonia risks.
Researchers from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette infected mice with a strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae that is responsible for most cases of pneumonia that is acquired outside of a hospital.
Scientists found that e-cigarette vapor didn't switch on genes of the bacteria, meaning the vapor had no impact on the germs' ability to cause infections.
On the other hand, cigarette smoke altered genes of the mice involved in metabolism and stress response, which changed the rodents' immune responses and made them more susceptible to the lung infection.
A new study from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has found that e-cigarette vapor, with or without nicotine, had no impact on the ability of pneumococcus to cause infection in mice (file image)
Since March, a slew of vaping-related lung illnesses have sickened at least 2,290 Americans and have killed at least 47 in 25 states and the nation's capital.
The alarming surge in these illnesses has raised questions and concerns about how the devices - often billed as 'safer' than combustible cigarettes - may or may not raise the risk for other sicknesses and diseases.
'Every day, on my way to my classroom, I see a lot of students vaping,' said Dr Ritwij Kulkarni, the corresponding author and an assistant professor of immunology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
'We don't know the effects e-cigarette vapor has on us or on our microbiome.