E-Cigarette Use Reduces Sensitivity Of Cough Reflex

First Posted: Aug 24, 2015 11:56 PM EDT

The verdict is still out on the safety of e-cigarettes. Yet new findings published in the journal CHEST reveal that the single use of an e-cigarette approximating the exposure of one tobacco cigarette reduces the sensitivity of the cough reflex.

In this recent study, researchers analyzed data from 30 adult lifetime nonsmokers with no history of asthma or respiratory diseases and used cough tests to determine how e-cigarettes affect the cough reflex, according to a news release

They used Capsaicin, otherwise known as the extract of red peppers, to help induce a safe cough in the subjects and establish their baseline cough reflex sensitivity before use of electronic cigarette, which contains nicotine in a vehicle of distilled water.

Then, following a 15 minute e-cigarette vaping session, subjects were tested again with the capsaicin cough challenge, and then again, 24 hours later. Findings revealed a significant decrease in cough reflex sensitivity that was shown within the subjects as compared with their baseline levels when looking at similarities between the two. Furtherore, the study results showed how nicotine is probably responsible for the effect on the cough reflex, as well.

Previous studies have shown that nicotine also promotes cough immediately after ingestion, suggesting that there is dual action-including immediate stimulation of the cough reflex and delayed inhibition.

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