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Chemicals used to flavor e-cigs may impair lung function

February 1, 2019

Two chemicals widely used to flavor electronic cigarettes may be impairing the function of cilia in the human airway, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Cilia are antennae-like protuberances that are present on 50-75% of the cells that line human airways. They play a key role in keeping the human airway clear of mucus and dirt and allow people to breathe easily and without irritation. Impaired cilia function has been linked with lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

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