Knowledge of the long-term toxicological and immunological effects of e-cigarette (e-cig) aerosols remains elusive due to the relatively short existence of vaping. Therefore, we performed a systematic search of articles published in public databases and analysed the research evidence in order to provide critical information regarding e-cig safety. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (or e-cigs) are an alternative to traditional cigarettes for the delivery of nicotine and are typically filled with glycerol or propylene glycol-based solutions known as e-liquids. Though present in lower quantities, e-cig aerosols are known to contain many of the harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke. However, due to the paucity of experimental data and contradictory evidence, it is difficult to draw conclusive outcomes regarding toxicological, immunological and clinical impacts of e-cig aerosols. Excessive vaping has been reported to induce inflammatory responses including mitogen-activated protein kinase, Janus tyrosine kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription and nuclear factor-κB signalling, similar to that induced by tobacco smoke. Based on recent evidence, prolonged exposure to some constituents of e-cig aerosols might result in respiratory complications such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and inflammation. Future studies are warranted that focus on establishing correlations between e-cig types, generations and e-liquid flavours and immunological and toxicological profiles to broaden our understanding about the effects of vaping.
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