Human heart cells respond less to e-cig vapour than tobacco smoke

May 4, 2016, University of Bristol

New research has showed substantial differences in the way human heart cells respond to e-cigarette smoke and conventional cigarette smoke.

Researchers from the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC IEU) at the University of Bristol investigated how the same type of cells as those found in the arteries of the heart, known as human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC), responded when they were exposed to both e-cigarette aerosol and conventional cigarette smoke.

Their results were published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Professor Marcus Munafò, who was part of the study team, said: "The past few years have seen a rapid growth in the use of e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine via inhaled aerosol. It's thought that e-cigarettes are unlikely to be as harmful as conventional cigarettes, but little data exists to show their relative harms, or the long term effects of e-cigarette use. Therefore, research into these biological effects is critical. Our study looked at the stress response in in response to cigarette smoke and e-cigarette aerosol."

The researchers created cigarette smoke extract from a conventional cigarette and electronic cigarette aerosol extract from an e-cigarette aerosol. Both were passed through a culture of the cells. The researchers then analysed the gene expression patterns of the heart cells to see if the cells exhibited a stress response to either the cigarette smoke or e-cigarette aerosol exposure.

Professor Munafò said: "We found the showed a from the extract, but not from the electronic cigarette extract. This result suggests tobacco smokers may be able to reduce immediate tobacco-related harm by switching from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes."

Explore further: Researcher finds teenage e-cigarette use 'clustered' in certain schools

More information: Jack E. Teasdale et al, Cigarette smoke but not electronic cigarette aerosol activates a stress response in human coronary artery endothelial cells in culture, Drug and Alcohol Dependence (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.04.020

Related Stories

Researcher finds teenage e-cigarette use 'clustered' in certain schools

April 26, 2016
A new study from the University of Colorado Denver finds that certain school environments have an impact on electronic cigarette use among teenagers.

More evidence found on potential harmful effects of e-cigarettes

February 11, 2016
While e-cigarette use is increasing worldwide, little is known about the health effects e-cigarettes pose for users. A University of Louisville researcher is working to change that status.

E-cigarettes have immediate effects on pulmonary function

April 11, 2016
E-cigarette smoking is increasingly promoted as a safer alternative to cigarette smoking, but a growing body of evidence points to its potential dangers. Adding to the evidence, researchers will report at CHEST World Congress ...

Potentially dangerous molecules detected in e-cigarette aerosols

December 3, 2015
Electronic cigarettes produce highly-reactive free radicals—molecules associated with cell damage and cancer—and may pose a health risk to users, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

E-cigarette vapor found to damage lung cells even when nicotine-free

May 26, 2015
Electronic cigarette (e-cig) use has now surpassed traditional cigarette use among middle and high school students, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This leaves many parents, public health officials ...

New study assesses the impact of exposure to e-cigarette ads on young adults

November 19, 2015
Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may enhance curiosity and usage among young adults, according to a study published this week in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Recommended for you

Small changes in diet can have a big impact on health

March 19, 2018
How's that New Year's resolution coming along? Getting ready for summer and want to look your best? Just want to feel better physically? Whatever your motivation, Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, an assistant professor of nutrition ...

Multiple screen use affects snack choices

March 19, 2018
Using multiple screen devices simultaneously while snacking may influence food choices, according to a new Michigan State University study.

Exposure to low levels of BPA during pregnancy can lead to altered brain development

March 17, 2018
New research in mice provides an explanation for how exposure to the widely used chemical bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy, even at levels lower than the regulated "safe" human exposure level, can lead to altered brain ...

The coffee cannabis connection

March 15, 2018
It's well known that a morning cup of joe jolts you awake. But scientists have discovered coffee affects your metabolism in dozens of other ways, including your metabolism of steroids and the neurotransmitters typically linked ...

Smoking linked with higher risk of type 2 diabetes

March 15, 2018
The prevalence of diabetes has increased almost 10-fold in China since the early 1980s, with one in 10 adults in China now affected by diabetes. Although adiposity is the major modifiable risk factor for diabetes, other research ...

Key drivers of high US healthcare spending identified

March 13, 2018
The major drivers of high healthcare costs in the U.S. appear to be higher prices for nearly everything—from physician and hospital services to diagnostic tests to pharmaceuticals—and administrative complexity.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.