Vaping and smoking have opposite physiological effects on the lungs, MRI scans show

A study published this week in Radiology used MRIs to examine how the lungs react differently to vaping and smoking.

Based on imaging of 44 healthy participants before and after tobacco/vaping smoking, researchers found that tobacco exposure decreased lung perfusion, while vaping resulted in an increase. These effects were observed after a single smoking/vaping session. Since many smokers turn to vaping to quit smoking, it’s important to understand how each method affects lung function.

“In contrast to nicotine replacement therapy, a higher proportion of smokers who successfully quit and who were supported with electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) continue to use ENDS in- beyond the stage of successful smoking cessation,” Sylvia Nyilas, of the Department of Diagnostics, Interventional and Pediatric Radiology at Bern University Hospital in Switzerland, and co-authors wrote. “Although the use of ENDS is increasing globally, there are limited data regarding the short- and long-term effects of ENDS use on the lungs.”

Compared to cigarettes, vaping has a safer risk profile. However, its side effects, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, are similar to those of conventional cigarettes. But how does each method affect the lungs?

To find out, the researchers used non-contrast dot-matrix magnetic resonance imaging and lung function tests. A total of 44 healthy participants (10 control participants, nine former tobacco smokers, 13 ENDS users, and 12 current tobacco smokers) underwent both examinations before and immediately after exposure to ENDS products or smoke. of tobacco. Baseline measurements were taken after two hours of product abstinence and post-exposure measurements were taken directly after the smoking sessions.

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