New Study Indicates Vaping “Does Not Affect” Lung Function


Nanoparticle expert, Dr. Amir Farnoud, and his team compared the effect of vapor and conventional smoke on lung surfactant and found conventional cigarettes “significantly inhibited the ability”

Dr. Amir Farnoud is an Assistant Professor at Ohio University who specializes in interactions between nanoparticles and the body. For nearly ten years he’s been working to understand many different kinds of nanoparticles effect on the body better, but his latest work was published last week and is focused on e-cigarettes. Concerned over the lack of diversity in studies looking at the effect of vaping on the lungs, Dr. Farnoud and his colleagues decided to take a new approach.

Most lung function studies thus far have focused on the cells of the pulmonary airways. This deep-lung approach is also critically needed, acknowledged Dr. Farnoud in a blog post touting their findings, but they see vaping’s effect on the ability of lung surfactant to reduce surface tension as a vital aspect of understanding e-cigarettes.

Important Questions To Answer

Pulmonary surfactant is a lining of the lungs that primarily reduces the level of surface tension in the alveolar fluid. It covers most of the lungs and basically helps keep the whole thing structurally sound. It’s important to understand the effect of smoking or vaping on this material because everything that is inhaled comes into direct contact with the surfactant. The study was designed to mainly look at the ability of the surfactant to reduce surface tension after being exposed to three principal substances, regular air, e-cigarette vapor, and conventional cigarette smoke.

The researchers used a clinical surfactant extract that is used for the treatment of premature babies lacking their own. The extract, called Infasurf, was applied to a Wilhelmy plate (the standard device/method for testing surface tension in the lab). In addition to testing the three different types of substances, they also decided it was important to examine several different flavors of e-liquid (tobacco, mint, and berry). The researchers believe that since varying flavors have sometimes been used as reasoning for differing results, it was integral to see if they could detect any discernable differences in the outcomes for different tastes.

Results Of The Tests

After conducting their tests, Dr. Farnoud and his team found that “E-cigarette vapor regardless of the dose and flavoring of the e-liquid did not affect surfactant interfacial properties. In contrast, smoke from conventional cigarettes had a drastic, dose-dependent effect on Infasurf.” These findings are fantastic news for vapers who may still be concerned with the effect of vaping on lung function.

The reasoning given by the researchers was that because vaping does not burn anything, the tar associated with most negative effects on lung function is virtually non-existent for vapers. They did observe a change in the microstructure of compressed lung tissue exposed to both vapor and traditional smoke, noting that it resulted in broader and more numerous hills. But the effect of this is not entirely known. Dr. Farnoud suggests further research into this question is critically needed, but shouldn’t lessen the harm reduction indicated by their study. Nor should it imply that vaping is 100% risk-free.


Many critics and skeptics of vaping point to the relative lack of research studying the effect of vapor on the body. While this is inherently true given the lack of time, it shouldn’t be grounds for de-legitimizing something proven to be much less harmful than cigarettes in every way we can measure. So hopefully more research like this, both focused on an under-researched aspect of the question, and conducted by researchers who have no connection to the vaping industry, can begin to change opinions.

It’s vital that we change the abysmal reputation and understanding of vaping in the general public if we want to overturn bans and taxes. If we do not, we only face harsher and harsher restrictions as politicians continue to equate vaping with smoking. Research from experts in unrelated fields like Dr. Amir Farnoud is the best tool we have to combat the skeptics and internet trolls. After all, studies conducted by entirely unbiased sources is always the strongest rhetorically.

Do you think vaping has had a positive impact on your lung function since switching from smoking? Do you think that it’s essential to have research supporting vaping conducted by entirely independent researchers? How can we further the impact of studies like the one led by Dr. Farnoud and his colleagues? Let us know in the comments.

Dustin has been vaping for almost a decade. He found e-cigarettes in 2008 and quickly became drawn to them as an early adopter. He's been writing reviews ever since and has established himself as a well-versed authority on the subject.

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15 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    How about the fact you’re sucking oil into your lungs that’s being heated by a battery? Do you have to be a doctor to realize that this will eventually cause alveolar deterioration? Good luck to you all…i’m not saying ban it I’m just letting you know you’re killing yourselves too. Have fun.

    • Jimmy Hafrey says:

      Julie, while we respect your opinion, we think you’re missing the point of vaping. It’s about not inhaling thousands of dangerous chemicals and looking towards reducing the harm. Ideally, no one would smoke or vape but this is about addressing the reality of the world and looking for other options that can be better than smoking. It’s really no different than preaching abstinence as your only approach to ending teen pregnancy with the stance you’ve taken. With that said, thanks for visiting!

    • David says:

      Vaping oil and jawbone deterioration? I don’t think you are very well informed.

    • David says:

      Julie you’re a complete idiot if you believe that vaping causes this LOL I literally spit out my drink because I was laughing so hard. Show me where someone’s bone has degraded from vaping, if you can’t then stfu.

    • Christian says:

      Your sucking in vegetabal and propelyne glycerine. It’s not entirely healthy but if your looking for a quick nicotine buzz you hit the vape instead of smoking cigarettes. i dont think people are ‘dying’ from vaping, as we have tommy chong who’s been smoking cannabis for decades.

    • Puffer says:

      Julie said “you’re sucking Oil.” Get informed. It’s Propylene glycol. That same that’s in just about any food with flavor.

  2. Nicola says:

    Thank you for this article. I switched from smoking to vaping nearly 6 years ago. I have not touched a cigarette since. I smell way better, can run, walk forever and have lost that irritating little clearing your throat sound. Don’t cough, hardly ever get sick or a cold anymore. My lungs are so much stronger and healthier. Climbed Ben Nevis in August 17. Couldn’t have done that 6 years ago.

  3. Dan says:

    “New Study Indicates Vaping “Does Not Affect” Lung Function”. The only thing I obtained from the article is that Dr. Farnoud believes that surfactant is not affected by e juice in three different flavors. The lung, without surfactant would be impossible for anyone to take a deep enough of a breath to reopen collapsed aveoli (collapsed lung). I give Dr. Farnoud credit for his work in surfactant not being affected by e-juice. But this is just one part of the story.

    I have mentioned in a few comments here on this site that more research needs to be conducted in the effects of vaping on the lungs. I mentioned that pulmonary function testing would be great to see a study on the effects of vaping. Dr. Amir Farnoud title to his article is very misleading and would be destroyed by the AMA. A pulmonary function test measures flow rates and volumes that are measured and compared to a persons gender, height and age. I personally would like to see if there’s an improvement in any of the flow rates such as PEF (Peak expiratory flow), FEV1/FVC ( Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 Second), FVC (Forced Vital Capacity) , FEF25-75% and so on. I hate to say it, but Dr. Farnound would be laughed at by an audience of his own peers.

    I’ve said it before and will say it again. Once lung tissue has been damaged, it remains damaged. But could the cessation from smoking and vaping instead improve lung function? Would switching to vaping improve some of the pulmonary function testing values by 5 or 10% post 1, 3 , 6 months down the road?

    Don’t throw a BS article together and think it’s the stuff….LOL. Let’s see some real research done on the effects of switching to vaping. I mean, damn, do I have to do it myself.

  4. Vista Vapors Inc says:

    It’s always great to have more studies confirming that vaping is less harmful for you! Thanks for sharing this and helping to combat the misinformation going around about vaping!

  5. Charles says:

    There’s no oil in Vape juice dummy!!!

  6. mechanical mods says:

    great post, im glad to here this as i love to vape

  7. Terence Lake Walker says:

    No Dan, you do not have to do it yourself because I have already done it for everyone– because no one else was doing it.
    After smoking strong , unfiltered cigarettes for 69 years I changed to vaping after being diagnosed with borderline COPD the disease that killed my son at 47 Not knowing the possible effect on my lungs I arranged with my GP to have annual spirometry tests to find out.On ceasing smoking my breathing rate was only 50% of normal, it then improved to 80%, 82% 88% at 4 years and stabilised at that figure in 5th year. It will never get any higher simply because the smoke/tar has irrevocably destroyed some of my alveoli. Propylene glycol has been used for many years in hospitals and in 2007 the EPA in the Stateswere reregistering its use in hospitals concluded that “There are no end points of concern regarding oral, dermal or inhalation of propylene glycol. It has even being trialled as a carrier supplying imunosuppressant drugs to heart/lung transplant patients.

  8. Parker says:

    I have been vaping for about a year now. I am a competitive runner, in college and have a pretty respectable marathon time. I have not found it to effect my performance at all.

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