Study: E-Cig Vapor Strengthens MRSA and Impedes Immune System, Tobacco Smoke Still Much Worse
A new study is getting shoved around by just about everyone that wants another excuse to hate electronic cigarettes. The study finds that electronic cigarette vapor both suppresses the immune system in users and triggers a defense mechanism in MRSA that makes it harder to kill. While this appears to be true, traditional cigarette smoke does the same to a far greater degree, but that tidbit is being shoved to the end of stories or left out all together.
Nicotine is a known anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective — both aspects of which appear connected to its ability to suppress a user’s immune system. The study doesn’t actually appear clarify whether the suppression of an individual’s immune system occurs at any degree beyond that caused by nicotine itself. In short, the study appears to only prove that nicotine continues acts the way we expect it to when used via electronic cigarettes.
Here’s one simple example of coverage of this study. If you’ll notice, the article spends a good deal of time highlighting the problematic effects it found in electronic cigarette vapor. Only in the last line of the whole piece does it clarify that real cigarettes were found to fuel MRSA even more than the electronic versions.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA (sometimes called mercer or mersa) is a nasty thing. It exists as a natural selection of antibiotic-resistant infection and responds to almost any change in its environment by going defensive and getting tougher to kill. So as nasty as it sounds to say the e-cig vapor makes it stronger, so do most attempts to treat it.
Yet again, we run into a situation where a study is only finding what we could already guess was the situation with electronic cigarettes — that they possess some similar harms to that of conventional tobacco cigarettes but at a lesser degree.
As always, the statement on them should be, they’re better than smoking — especially for those that can’t quit — but worse than not smoking at all.