Muscat : A study conducted by a research team from the University of Birmingham in Britain revealed that electronic cigarette smoke negatively affects the activity of some key components of the human body's immune system.
The team found that e-cigarette smoke disrupts the work of neutrophil white blood cells, which are the human body's first line of defense against diseases and infections.
As part of the study published in the journal Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers drew blood samples from healthy, non-smoking donors. The white blood cells in these samples were then exposed to forty puffs of electronic cigarette smoke. This amount represents the limited daily exposure to smoke.
During the experiment, the research team exposed half of the blood samples to smoke saturated with nicotine, and the other half to smoke containing nicotine-free substitutes. It was found that the white blood cells (neutrophils) that were exposed to smoke saturated with nicotine and the smoke containing substitutes remained alive, but became stiff. In a way that makes it unable to perform its immune role in confronting the dangers that threaten the body.
After a short period of exposure to e-cigarette smoke, cells are still alive, but they are not moving effectively enough to carry out their traditional defensive functions, said Aaron Scott, assistant professor of respiratory diseases at the University of Birmingham.
He added that vapors that did not contain nicotine had the same negative effect on immune cells as vapors that contained nicotine.