CHAPEL HILL – Not all electronic cigarette devices are created equal. That is the findings of a new peer-reviewed paper from UNC School of Medicine researchers.

Toxicologist Ilona Jaspers, PhD led the research and published the findings in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  They found some fourth-generation models – such as Juul devices – are associated with unique changes in markers of immune responses inside our airways.

The FDA banned Juul products in the US, but a court blocked that ban last month.

Electronic cigarettes have increased in popularity over the past decade. Some people use them to quit smoking, considering them a safer alternative.

“It’s impossible to know if vaping decreases cancer risk or many other long-term conditions,” Jaspers said. “It took 60 years of research to show that smoking causes cancer.” E-cigarettes have been around for about 15 years.

Researchers remain concerned that e-cigarettes are prevalent among teenagers who are not able to buy cigarettes.

Several studies show that inhaling chemical-laden nicotine aerosols suppresses immune responses in the respiratory tracts of smokers and e-cigarette users.

Third-generation devices include vape pens and box mods. Fourth generation include nicotine-salt-containing e-cigarettes, such as Juul products, and disposable e-cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular following restrictions on the sale of Juul products.

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