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Your Environment. Your Health.

E-Cigarettes and Teen Health

Partnerships for Environmental Public Education (PEPH)

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smoking an e-cigarette

E-Cigarettes and Teen Health

September 14, 2018

Interviewee: Ilona Jaspers, Ph.D.

While the health effects of e-cigarette use are largely unknown, a variety of chemicals in e-cigarette liquid or produced during use are known carcinogens and toxic chemicals. In this podcast, we’ll learn about why the increased use of e-cigarettes, particularly among teens, has generated concern among health professionals and researchers, and how NIEHS-funded researchers are working to understand and address this growing problem.

E-Cigarettes and Teen Health

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Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, typically containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. First released on the market in the mid-2000s, e-cigarette use in the United States. has increased rapidly. They have also become particularly popular among teens due to their easy availability, appealing flavors, and the common belief that they are safer than traditional cigarettes.

While the health effects of e-cigarette use are largely unknown, a variety of chemicals in e-cigarette liquid or produced during use are known carcinogens and toxic chemicals. In this podcast, we’ll learn about why the increased use of e-cigarettes, particularly among teens, has generated concern among health professionals and researchers, and how NIEHS-funded researchers are working to understand and address this growing problem.

Interviewee

Ilona Jaspers, Ph.D.

Ilona Jaspers, Ph.D., is a professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Department of Pediatrics, the Director of the Curriculum in Toxicology, and the Deputy Director of the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine Asthma and Lung Biology.

Jaspers specializes in the effects of air pollutants on respiratory immune disfunction. She has been studying how chemicals in e-cigarettes alter the immune response in the respiratory system as part of the UNC School of Medicine’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science and Lung Health (TCORS) since 2016. In the TCORS, she serves as a project leader and co-leader for the Training Core, helping train students and new researchers to become familiar with regulatory science related to the effects of new and emerging tobacco products on human health.

She has published widely on the influence of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, on the immune response in the respiratory system.

Additional Resources

Relevant References

Clapp PW, Jaspers I. Electronic Cigarettes: Their Constituents and Potential Links to Asthma. 2017. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 17(11):79. doi: 10.1007/s11882-017-0747-5. [Abstract Clapp PW, Jaspers I. Electronic Cigarettes: Their Constituents and Potential Links to Asthma. 2017. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 17(11):79. doi: 10.1007/s11882-017-0747-5.]

Clapp PW, Pawlak EA, Lackey JT, Keating JE, Reeber SL, Glish GL, Jaspers I. 2017. Flavored e-cigarette liquids and cinnamaldehyde impair respiratory innate immune cell function. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 313(2):L278-L292. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00452.2016. [Abstract Clapp PW, Pawlak EA, Lackey JT, Keating JE, Reeber SL, Glish GL, Jaspers I. 2017. Flavored e-cigarette liquids and cinnamaldehyde impair respiratory innate immune cell function. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 313(2):L278-L292. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00452.2016.]

Martin EM, Clapp PW, Rebuli ME, Pawlak EA, Glista-Baker E, Benowitz NL, Fry RC, Jaspers I. 2016. E-cigarette use results in suppression of immune and inflammatory-response genes in nasal epithelial cells similar to cigarette smoke. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 311(1):L135-44. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00170.2016. [Abstract Martin EM, Clapp PW, Rebuli ME, Pawlak EA, Glista-Baker E, Benowitz NL, Fry RC, Jaspers I. 2016. E-cigarette use results in suppression of immune and inflammatory-response genes in nasal epithelial cells similar to cigarette smoke. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 311(1):L135-44. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00170.2016.]

Reidel B, Radicioni G, Clapp PW, Ford AA, Abdelwahab S, Rebuli ME, Haridass P, Alexis NE, Jaspers I, Kesimer M. 2018. E-Cigarette Use Causes a Unique Innate Immune Response in the Lung, Involving Increased Neutrophilic Activation and Altered Mucin Secretion. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 197(4):492-501. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201708-1590OC. [Abstract Reidel B, Radicioni G, Clapp PW, Ford AA, Abdelwahab S, Rebuli ME, Haridass P, Alexis NE, Jaspers I, Kesimer M. 2018. E-Cigarette Use Causes a Unique Innate Immune Response in the Lung, Involving Increased Neutrophilic Activation and Altered Mucin Secretion. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 197(4):492-501. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201708-1590OC.]

Carson JL, Zhou L, Brighton L, Mills KH, Zhou H, Jaspers I, Hazucha M. 2017. Temporal structure/function variation in cultured differentiated human nasal epithelium associated with acute single exposure to tobacco smoke or E-cigarette vapor. Inhal Toxicol 29(3):137-144. doi: 10.1080/08958378.2017.1318985. [Abstract Carson JL, Zhou L, Brighton L, Mills KH, Zhou H, Jaspers I, Hazucha M. 2017. Temporal structure/function variation in cultured differentiated human nasal epithelium associated with acute single exposure to tobacco smoke or E-cigarette vapor. Inhal Toxicol 29(3):137-144. doi: 10.1080/08958378.2017.1318985.]

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