Results of a recent study on the effects of electronic cigarettes on immune responses imply that e-cigarettes have an even broader effect on the respiratory mucosal immune response system than conventional cigarettes.

Researchers obtained tissue samples from the epithelial layer inside the nasal cavities of smokers, non-smokers and e-cigarette users, to analyze changes in the expressions of nearly 600 genes involved in immune responses.

They then tested nasal lavage fluid, urine and blood samples obtained from participants to detect changes in genetic and proteomic markers of tobacco and nicotine exposure and other markers of inflammation or immune responses.

In conventional cigarette smokers, they observed signs that a number of key immune genes in the nasal mucosa were suppressed. In e-cigarette users, they found the same genetic changes, as well as suppression of additional immune genes.