People who smoke e-cigarettes have an increased risk of developing pneumonia, a new study warns.
After collecting data from 17 vapers, researchers found that bacteria that cause the lung infection stick to cells lining their airways more easily than they do in non-e-cigarette users.
Traditional cigarettes have long been linked to an increased risk of pneumonia, but it has been less clear whether e-cigarettes might have the same effect.
The study, conducted by researchers from the Queen Mary University of London, provides more insight to the harmful effects vaping can have on lungs.
Researchers found e-cigarettes may help pneumonia-causing bacteria invade airways
Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages, kills about 50,000 people each year in the US.
For the study, researchers led by Dr Jonathan Grigg, a professor of pediatric respiratory and environmental medicine, asked 17 people who vaped regularly to smoke an e-cigarette in the lab.
They found that vaping increased levels of a molecule produced by airway-lining cells, called platelet-activating factor receptor (PAFR) - a substance that makes pneumonia-causing bacteria stick to airways.
When researchers compared participant's PAFR levels before and after the vaping session, they found a three-fold increase in these molecules an hour after they vaped.
Then, the researchers exposed mice to e-cigarette vapor and found higher PAFR production in the rodents that inhaled the fumes.