By Serena Gordon
TUESDAY, January 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Pulmonary diseases and vaping deaths have been in the headlines for months, and now two new studies offer fresh evidence that points to long-term respiratory problems.
Studies link the use of electronic cigarettes with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
"These studies add to the body of evidence on the relationship between the use of electronic cigarettes and lung conditions," said Dr. Albert Osei, a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. He is the lead author of a study published earlier this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The studies cannot definitively prove a cause and effect link, he noted, adding: "We believe this justifies more longitudinal studies."
Introduced in the US market more than a decade ago, electronic cigarettes are marketed as less harmful than traditional tobacco cigarettes and as a way to help quit smoking. In 2016, almost 11 million American adults used electronic cigarettes.
Most have a vaporization chamber, a nicotine cartridge that can include flavoring and a rechargeable battery. The steam they produce is inhaled into the lungs, a process called vaping.
Previous studies have suggested that steam can irritate airway cells, affect their ability to fight infections and cause lung tissue destruction. A study recently published in December found that users of electronic cigarettes also have a significantly higher risk of chronic lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD.
Vaping has been linked to a national outbreak of severe lung disease. As of January 7, there have been more than 2,600 diseases and 57 deaths, many related to vaping products with THC, the marijuana component that causes a halt. An additive called vitamin E acetate that makes THC last longer may be the culprit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. UU.
Osei's study examined a database of more than 705,000 adults.
Almost 65,000 smoked regular cigarettes. More than 25,000 electronic cigarettes smoked; Its average age: 30 to 34 years. More than 200,000 were former traditional smokers.
About 2% of smokers reported that they used electronic and traditional cigarettes. More than 53,000 in the group said they had COPD, chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
In people who had never smoked regular cigarettes, the use of electronic cigarettes was associated with a 75% higher chance of COPD, according to the study. Daily users of electronic cigarettes were 2.6 times more likely to have COPD than people who never smoked ordinary cigarettes.
The second study, recently published in the journal. BMC pulmonary medicine – included more than 400,000 adults who never smoked common cigarettes. More than 34,000 had asthma. Currently, only 3,100 people used electronic cigarettes. Your average age: 18 to 24 years.
The risk of asthma was 39% higher in current e-cigarette users than in people who had never vaped. And the more people vaped, the greater their chances of asthma, the study reported.
Like Osei, the head of a pro-vaping defense group noted that these studies do not prove that electronic cigarettes were responsible for any of the conditions.
People with asthma or COPD may have had their conditions before using electronic cigarettes, said Greg Conley, president of the American Vaping Association.
"There is no plausible mechanism by which vaping, which exposes users to much less toxins than smoking cigarettes, can cause COPD over a period of a few years," he said. "Even among large smokers, it takes several decades for COPD to develop."
Dr. Len Horovitz is a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and also reviewed the findings.
"Gone are the days when electronic cigarette manufacturers could claim that this form of nicotine use was not harmful," he said. You can't smoke or vape safely. "
The study's author, Osei, agreed and noted that both fuels and electronic cigarettes contain nicotine.
"Most people who use electronic cigarettes are young. Over time, we will have a generation that becomes dependent on nicotine by using electronic cigarettes," said Osei. "As a public health doctor, I cannot say that electronic cigarettes are not at risk."