Some people have used the results from experiments on mice to claim that vaping isn’t as safe as people think. But testing using mice is very unreliable and we already have much stronger evidence from tests using humans.
When we talk about research into the effects of vaping on the human body we’re usually referring to studies using cultured human lung tissue or living human lungs. The reason these methods are used is because they can produce reliable results.
However, some researchers have used mice to study vaping even though the results of these studies are far less reliable.
Unfortunately, the fact that testing on mice is incredibly unreliable hasn’t stopped some people from using the results to claim that vaping isn’t as safe as people believe. Adding more fuel to the myths and misinformation surrounding vaping.
Medical organisations like Public Health England accept the results showing that vaping is around ninety-five percent safer than smoking. This research is based on reliable tests using cultured human cells and living human lungs.
Unreliable Tests On Mice
There is a good reason why testing on mice isn’t often used when judging how harmful or beneficial chemicals might be to the human body. Mice and humans don’t always react the same way. Our respiratory systems are different and any information about how vaping affects mice isn’t necessarily going to be true for humans.
The UCSD’s School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System have carried out research using mice. This research involved forcing mice to inhale e-cigarette vapour for one hour each day for four weeks and then testing for signs of inflammation.
The San Diego tests found that mice exposed to vapour showed ten percent more signs of inflammation. Some people have used these results to claim that vaping isn’t as safe as previously thought, but this doesn’t take into account how unreliable testing with mice is.
Research using mice is unreliable
Although mice have been used to test a variety of products for years, there are a lot of chemicals that are harmful to mice but beneficial to humans. For example, paracetamol and aspirin are deadly to mice but are common medicines that humans have used for over a hundred years.
Ninety-five percent of drugs that had positive results when tested on mice have gone on to have less desirable effects on humans. So, clearly mice are not a very reliable way of testing the effect of chemicals on humans.
When it comes to testing the effect of vaping using mice there are two major problems. The respiratory system and inflammatory response in mice is different to humans.
Inflammation is one of the ways scientists look for harmful chemical effects. So, if the tissue of mice doesn’t become inflamed by the same chemicals as human tissue then there’s no point in using mice to test vaping.
Testing using mice has been repeatedly criticised in scientific studies and the evidence shows that there are significant problems when comparing mice and humans.
Mice Vs Humans
If using mice is so unreliable, why are they still used in testing and why did the UCSD’s School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System use mice to test the effect of vaping?
Historically there have been some successful research using mice to find cures to diseases and mice were often used when scientists wanted to avoid testing on humans. But this doesn’t make mice a good candidate for testing the effect of vaping.
The fact that mice produce unreliable results, especially when studying their respiratory system, has been known for years. So, why use this unreliable method to test vaping when there are millions of people out there who vape? Finding human test subjects shouldn’t be difficult.
The results are unreliable and there are already a large number of studies into the effect of vaping using human participants.
Research using humans
There is a growing number of studies into the effect of vaping on humans and the first long term studies have recently started to publish results. Unsurprisingly, using humans to test how vaping affects humans is much more reliable than using mice. Organisations like Public Health England agree with the results so far that show vaping is at least ninety-five percent safer than smoking.
Research using hundreds of human participants have shown that vaping can help lower blood pressure and increases the chances of smokers quitting cigarettes for good.
Another study used a group of people who had never smoked or vaped before and evaluated them over forty-two months of vaping. This research found no decrease in lung capacity, no development of respiratory symptoms, no change in lung inflammation and no early lung damage.
And although this was just one study with a small number of participants, the results are encouraging as they suggest that vaping doesn’t damage the lungs. This was just the first long term study into the effect of vaping, but as more long term studies publish their results we’ll get a better understanding of how vaping really affects the human body.
People looking for a reason to attack vaping might use the results of research on mice to claim that vaping isn’t as safe as people think. But in reality these mice-based studies are unreliable because mice have been proven to react differently to humans, especially when it comes to their lungs.
There is a lot of evidence that comparing the respiratory system and inflammation response of mice and humans isn’t reliable. Plenty of drugs have proven beneficial to mice but harmful to humans and vice versa.
There are also plenty of studies into the effect of vaping on human lungs that use cultured human cells or human participants. These studies provide much more reliable results and so far the evidence shows that vaping is around ninety-five percent safer than smoking.
So, there’s no need to use unreliable research using mice when there’s growing evidence from much more reliable studies.