The fluid in e-cigarettes may cause a potentially life threatening lung inflammation in those who are susceptible, according to research published today.
The research, co-authored by Royal Brompton’s consultant paediatric chest physician Professor Andrew Bush, outlines a case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis – a condition in which the air sacs and airways in the lungs become severely inflamed – in a 16 year old boy, who was initially suspected of having worsening asthma.
The teenager developed respiratory failure and needed external assistance for his heart and lungs to work properly, and was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygen (ECMO) and intravenous antibiotics and steroids.
The trigger for his condition is thought to have been an immune response to one of the chemicals found in e-cigarette fluid. The report concludes that e-cigarettes should not automatically be considered much safer than tobacco.
Professor Andrew Bush, said: "This case is very disturbing. We simply do not know the long-term consequences of vaping. We don't know what is in these devices and liquids, therefore, how can we possibly say they are safe to inhale into our lungs? They should be kept out of the hands of young people."
The research is published in Archives of Disease in Childhood.