Vaping and Comorbidities: Designing Experiments to Establish Adverse Health Effects
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Modern diseases are complex and are dangerous when occur simultaneously with another conditions. While common, this phenomenon is not described universally, and existing terms presented in the literature often having conflicting definitions. In Chapter 1, the term “comorbidity” is selected and defined as the presence of multiple conditions or diseases simultaneously in a single individual. Additionally, well-known examples of comorbidities such as asthma with allergic rhinitis and lung cancer with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are discussed. Vaping is currently a major health crisis in the United States. Unfortunately, the current scientific understanding on the effects of vaping is incomplete. Although there are multiple ways in which people vape, this thesis will focus on vaping through the use of e-cigarettes. Significant knowledge gaps include understanding the interactions between vaping and comorbid conditions and the induced toxicological effects or biological interactions among the individual versus mixed components of e-liquid to pulmonary cells. To make progress toward filling data gaps, Chapter 2 discusses two experiments that were conducted. The first experiment determined the LC50 value of the e-cigarette flavoring cinnamaldehyde using two different viability assays: MTS and PrestoBlue. The aim of this experiment was to select a preferred assay for viability to be used in further studies. The second experiment determined the LC50 values of two common e-cigarette flavorings, cinnamaldehyde and myrcene. This enabled a comparison of the toxicity of each ingredient and established a robust protocol for further studies. Chapter 3 discusses future work and offers a more sophisticated experimental design that will both broaden and deepen the scope of the research.