IQOS exposure impairs human airway cell homeostasis: Direct comparison with traditional cigarette and e-cigarette
Sohal, SS and Eapen, MS and Naidu, VGM and Sharma, P, IQOS exposure impairs human airway cell homeostasis: Direct comparison with traditional cigarette and e-cigarette, ERJ Open Research, 5, (1) Article 00159-2018. ISSN 2312-0541 (2019) [Refereed Article]
While cigarette smoking still remains one of the most pressing global health issues of our time, newer forms of smoking device have been introduced across the globe in the last decade. Electronic nicotine/ non-nicotine delivery systems commonly known as electronic cigarettes (eCig) heat a solution (e-liquid) to create vapour; the latest addition to this list is the introduction of heat-not-burn (HNBs) tobacco products branded as IQOS. HNBs are hybrids between eCigs and traditional cigarettes i.e. they are equipped with a device that heats the product, without burning to generate aerosol and the product being heated is not a liquid but real tobacco. eCig vaping is comparatively new but its use is increasing at an alarming rate; it is believed it will surpass the use of traditional cigarettes in next 5 years, with global sales reaching US$10 billion. Since its launch in Italy and Japan in 2014, IQOS has become the leader in the HNB market. To date, IQOS is available in 41 countries, including 22 from the WHO-European region, and its market share has now reached the level of cigars in Italy . Emerging data shows that eCig use, particularly in the young, is associated with future cigarette use. Similarly, over half of the people interested in IQOS are never-smokers. Therefore, both eCigs and IQOS may represent a gateway for nicotine addiction among never-smokers rather than a substitute used for harm-reduction purposes in current smokers. It is now clear that eCig vapour contains high levels of toxic compounds , which adversely affect respiratory, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems both in vitro and in vivo . It is also important to recognise that IQOS products are comparatively new but emerging research suggests that IQOS emits substantially high levels of carbonyls. There is as yet no published comparison between the effect of eCigs, IQOS and tobacco smoke on human lungs. Here, we examine whether exposure to IQOS has the same damaging effect on human airway epithelial and smooth muscle cells as traditional tobacco cigarette and eCigs in vitro.