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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

versión impresa ISSN 1726-4634


ACCINELLI, Roberto A.; LAM, Jorge  y  TAFUR, Karla B.. The electronic cigarette: an emerging public health problem. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2020, vol.37, n.1, pp.122-128. ISSN 1726-4634.

Since 2004, the electronic cigarette (EC) is available, a device that heats nicotine and administers it as part of a vapor. We present a narrative review of the EC and its effect on health. Its use is to stop smoking, in which the evidence is low, and ends up being used at the same time as the cigarette they could not quit. In addition, those who never smoked, mainly teenagers and young people, begin consumption. Its use rais es the levels of nicotine, particles, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbo nyls and metals such as aluminum. In vitro, the EC causes inflammation, oxidative stress and is toxic to multiple cell types, including lung, endothelial and stem cells. Produces increased susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections. Compared to cigarettes, the EC produces a larger and more intense number of deleted genes. At bronchoscopy the airways are friable and erythematous, and the bronchial epithelium with a differentiated protein expression. It has been associated with cough, bronchitis symptoms and the respiratory failure by pneumonitis epidemic that has led several dozen people to death. Because of its harmful effects, the EC should only be used by medical prescription, as a measure to help quit tobacco, and its use in indoor and public environments be prohibited. As the EC components responsible for the associated deaths have not been determined, their use should be banned until these factors are known.

Palabras clave : Electronic cigarette; nicotine; flavorings; pneumonitis.

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