October 11, 2023
Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center
A recent study compared the effects of chemical residue from using electronically heated tobacco products to chemical residue from smoking on lung cells. It turns out that both kinds of chemical residue can damage lungs.
Researchers at Acibadem University in Istanbul, Turkey sought to better understand the chemical residue that remains on fabrics after people smoke or use electronically heated tobacco products. To explore this question, they first exposed terrycloth to smoke from cigarettes and vapor from electronically heated tobacco products. Following 30 seconds of exposure, the researchers removed the chemical residue from the terrycloth and combined the chemicals with lung cells. For both types of residue, what remained in the terrycloth contained quantities of toxic chemicals at levels high enough to harm lung cells. Specifically, the remaining chemicals would increase lung inflammation and decrease the lung’s ability to repair itself. Further, the researchers found that the higher the dose of smoke or vapor, the greater the damage would be to lungs.
This study shows that electronically heated tobacco products, like traditional cigarettes, leave behind a toxic chemical residue. Exposure to either chemical residue can harm lung cells. To stay healthy, people should avoid spaces and products that might be contaminated with a chemical residue from any tobacco product. If you find yourself in a place where people have used electronically heated tobacco products or smoked cigarettes, take a shower and wash your clothes to remove the chemical residue that clings to your skin, hair, and clothes.
Click here to read the study.