Latest research reveals further dangers from e-cigarettes
Using data from a large federal government telephone survey of adults, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report evidence that inhaling heated tobacco vapor through e-cigarettes was linked to increased odds of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), conditions long demonstrated to be caused by smoking traditional, combustible cigarettes. The data, the researchers say, also suggest that odds of developing COPD may be as much as six times greater when people report they both vape and smoke tobacco regularly, compared with those who don’t use any tobacco products at all.
Reports on the studies are published Jan. 2 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and on Oct. 16 in BMC Pulmonary Medicine.
For both studies, the researchers caution that they weren’t designed to show that vaping directly causes lung disease, but only whether doing so was associated with an increased likelihood of having disease. The researchers also didn’t distinguish between vaping tobacco compared with cannabis. They also cautioned that self-reports via telephone surveys may not be wholly reliable. However, they say their findings demonstrate the need for continued research with e-cigarette users over time to confirm and clarify the risks.
“Although e-cigarettes may turn out to be safer overall than traditional combustible cigarettes, our studies add to growing evidence that they carry health risks,” says Michael Blaha, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “These studies are the first in a series of larger and long-term studies that will more definitively provide evidence to inform tobacco users and regulators.”
Asthma, marked by inflammation of the airways and shortness of breath, affects an estimated 25 million Americans, and life-threatening episodes can be triggered easily by pollution, allergies and smoking.
COPD, which affects 16 million Americans, describes a group of disorders including emphysema and chronic bronchitis that make it hard to breathe due to permanent damage to the lungs over time. Rates of asthma and COPD are rising worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Most cases of COPD result from smoking traditional cigarettes.
SOURCE: Medical Express