Worried about swine flu? The answer could just be to reach for an electronic cigarette.
The issue has been discussed on the past on an e-cigarette forum, with some users reporting a fall in the frequency and severity of getting flu.
There has even been a poll held, with over 50% of users reporting a fall in the frequency of colds and flu. This is compared to 35% who didn’t notice a thing, and just 2% who noticed an increase in the illness. (Original link since removed.)
The effect could be due to switching from the cigarettes that contain thousands of chemicals and tens of carcinogens. However, a second possible cause is that of the Propylene Glycol that forms the main ingredient of e-cigarettes.
In an interview with us today, Murry said:
Propylene glycol, the main ingredient of e-cigarette mist, is known to kill airborne flu virus and bacteria, and tends to protect those exposed to it in inhaled air, whereas in contrast smoking tobacco doubles the risk of death in a flu epidemic.
Unfortunately, we have no solid evidence to back the potential of e-cigarettes in preventing flu and cold.
… we don’t have any data as to the extent that propylene glycol inhaled intermittently from an e-cigarette might prevent inhalation of live bacteria and viruses… This merits research.
There is, however, proof of propylene glycol’s ability to kill germs.
In one experiment, sick children in a convalescents’ home were subjected to bacterial levels of propylene glycol. During the first year of the experiment, children in the control wards (i.e. those with no propylene glycol) suffered 100 infections. Children in the wards with propylene glycol suffered just five.
I know one thing. Next time someone is spluttering next to me in an airplane, I’m reaching for my e-cigarette!
More on propylene glycol:
Roberston O.H, The bactericidal action of propylene glycol vapor on microorganisms suspended in air, J Exp Med. 1942 Jun 1; 75(6): 593–610.