- E-cigarette vaping negatively affects skin wound healing
- E-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes
- Alternative options to traditional smoking, like e-cigarette are popular
According to a new study, e-cigarette vaping negatively affects skin wound healing, causing damage similar to that of traditional cigarette smoking. A recent research, led by a team from Boston Medical Center (BMC), found that exposure to both e-cigarette vaping and traditional cigarettes in experimental models resulted in increased tissue death, which delays wound healing. These findings are published in the Journal of JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
The adverse effects of traditional cigarette smoking on wound healing has been well established in the surgical field. Surgeons recommend that patients quit smoking for several months prior to surgery, whenever possible. However, alternative options to traditional smoking, such as electronic cigarette vaping are gaining popularity, and there has not yet been significant research done about whether it is a safer alternative to traditional smoking, particularly in the pre-operative period.
In this study, the researchers exposed experimental models to one of the following: traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, or to no cigarettes. They checked serum cotinine levels, a biomarker for exposure to tobacco smoke, in both positive control and experimental groups to ensure comparable nicotine exposure was achieved in both these groups.
The researchers then created skin flaps, which were grafted back on each of the models from which it was created, and monitored the grafts daily for viability and wound healing.
"Based on our findings, e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes as it relates to timely wound healing. Providers and patients need to understand the risks of both types of smoking so that they can make the best decision to keep the patient as safe as possible before and after surgery," said Jeffrey Spiegel, study's corresponding author.
After two weeks, the researchers found that the there was a statistically increased rate of tissue death on grafted flaps in groups exposed to either e-cigarettes or traditional cigarettes.