The study will compare DNA methylation in lung tissue from smokers, never smokers, and e-cig users to examine the biological effects of e-cigarettes.
Title: Effects of Electronic Cigarette Use on the Human Lung
Principal Investigator: Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD
Funding Agency: Prevent Cancer Foundation
Period: 01/16/17 - 01/15/19
Abstract: The study will compare DNA methylation in lung tissue from smokers, never smokers, and e-cig users to examine the biological effects of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarette use is increasing, including among young people who never smoked cigarettes. This pilot study will examine samples from the lungs of healthy participants aged 21 to 30. Study participants underwent a procedure called a bronchoscopy, where a sample of lungs cells were collected by a rinse procedure. The research team will study 450,000 spots on the tissue DNA.
Research on the effects of e-cigarettes is critically important given the lack of knowledge about the health impacts to users.
The predominant ingredients in e-cigarette liquids, often called “e-juice” are nicotine, propylene glycol and/or glycerol. When used in food and cosmetics, the non-nicotine constituents are considered safe by the FDA. There is little knowledge on how these ingredients and their by-products affect human lungs when inhaled following the heating and aerosolizing process that takes place in e-cigarettes.