The research team led by Kambez H. Benam, DPhil, Assistant Professor at the CU School of Medicine, will create the first-in-kind multi-cellular three-dimensional (3D) living structure of a human lung containing cells that naturally line our conducting airways. This will include a layer of live tissue which is important for our immune defense and the development and resolution of organ injury.
This human lung will allow for a better understanding of the harm of e-cigarettes and hookah by giving the researchers the opportunity to evaluate the impact on genes, proteins, pathways, and cell/organ function, and identify any toxicity and cancer-causing potential of the products.
“Providing the next generation of a human lung model to compare the toxicity of emerging products, particularly hookah and e-cigarettes, will help identify dangerous and carcinogenic formulations,” said Dr. Benam. “This study has an unprecedented potential to advance the available toolkits for FDA to better protect and promote public health concerns around tobacco products.”
Juul and claims of cellular damage
Meanwhile, a recent US study published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, has suggested that the nicotine concentrations in the infamous Juul device are toxic to living human cells. “The nicotine concentrations are sufficiently high to be cytotoxic, or toxic to living cells, when tested in vitro with cultured respiratory system cells,” said lead researcher Prue Talbot. “JUUL is the only electronic cigarette product we found with nicotine concentrations high enough to be toxic in standard cytotoxicity tests. A big concern is that its use will addict a new generation of adolescents to nicotine.”
On the other hand, another clinical trial which was presented at the annual conference by the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), indicated that switching from smoking to using Juul, reduced smokers’ exposure to cigarette toxins at similar levels to quitting entirely.
Read Further: EurekAlert