Saturday

Vaping May Affect Your Genes

I don't smoke; tried it when I was around 13 like I am sure so many others of my baby boomer generation did, coughed myself silly and never went back to it. Probably saved myself a lot of money over the years, although not due to any great foresight on my part. I don't mind people smoking around me, and most are mindful not to puff in your face.

Cigarette smoking no longer is considered cool though, and indeed has become a pariah in many ways with usage declining a lot since the last century. Every year, large numbers of smokers try to quit outright, or at least cut back for health and other reasons.

Smoking E-cigarettes, or "vaping" is seen by many as a less harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes and are quite popular. However, almost immediately e-cigs came under a lot of fire from various quarters; the medical community, government regulators and Big Tobacco. 

Image courtesy Wikipedia

As an aside, I dislike the "Big insert-your-industry-here" trope as it's a sort of lazy writing convention, but hey, it's Saturday morning and I am writing this in my jammies...

The more conspiratorially-minded among us might even think that Big Tobacco could be pulling the strings behind the scenes to stamp out this very annoying usurper; we all know that the tobacco companies send plenty of coin to Washington - but again I digress.

In any case, the latest knock against vaping is that is may weaken the immune system in a way that cigarettes don't, by affecting the genes of the user.
After comparing genetic information swabbed from the noses of smokers, vapers, and non-users of both, researchers found that smoking suppresses the activity of 53 genes involved in the immune system. Vaping also suppressed those 53 immune genes—along with 305 others. The results were presented Friday at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.
Oddly, the culprit here seems to be the various flavorings used in e-cigs, rather than the vaping process per se. Tests are ongoing.

ArsTechnica

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