Citation Miler JA & Hajek P (2018) Resolution of chronic nasal Staphylococcus aureus infection in a non-smoker who started to use glycerine based e-cigarettes: Antibacterial effects of vaping?. Medical Hypotheses, 118, pp. 42-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2018.05.011
Smokers who switch to vaping report a decrease in respiratory infections. A previous case report of a non-smoker who started to vape and experienced a resolution of chronic tonsillitis proposed that this could be due to bactericidal effects of propylene glycol. Here were report a similar case where a resolution of chronic nasal infection was associated with using glycerol-based nicotine vaporiser.
A never-smoker adopted an e-cigarette that his wife was using and after a few weeks of vaping liquids containing vegetable glycerine with low levels of nicotine (3 mg/ml) experienced a complete resolution of chronic nasal Staphylococcus aureus infections.
The improvements cannot be attributed to smoking cessation or bactericidal effects of propylene glycol. The effect could be a coincidence, but it could also be related to bacteriostatic properties of glycerol, or to antimicrobial properties of nicotine and/or the zinc (II) complex of nicotine. Assessments of effects of e-cigarettes with different humectants and nicotine levels in patients with recurrent bacterial respiratory infections could clarify this issue and possibly generate new treatments.