Lung diseases from E-cigaret : Emphysema, asthma or bronchitis: A study shows that e-cigarettes also damage health. A combination with tobacco is particularly dangerous.
Vaping e-cigarettes have an increased risk of chronic lung diseases such as COPD, asthma and bronchitis. US researchers write this after interviewing thousands of people – including vapers, tobacco smokers, ex-smokers, and non-smokers – over a two-year period. The chance of getting ill within this time was 30 percent higher for vapers than for abstinent people, as the scientists write ( American Journal of Preventive Medicine , Bhatta et al., 2019 ). Tobacco smokers were about 150 percent more likely.
In total, the study included data from more than 19,000 people who initially had no lung disease. Within two years there was evidence of such a disease in around 1,100 participants, as the analysis by Dharma Bhatta and Stanton Glantz from the University of California in San Francisco showed. The investigation was about COPD, asthma and bronchitis. Bronchitis is a permanent inflammation of the respiratory tract, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is characterized by coughing, increased sputum and shortness of breath. The influence of e-cigarettes on the risk of cancer has not been investigated.
“A consistent switch from normal cigarettes to e-cigarettes can lower the risk of lung diseases. However, hardly anyone does it,” wrote co-author Stanton Glantz. Most smokers who switched to e-cigarettes during the study period continued to smoke tobacco. According to the researchers, simultaneous consumption is particularly dangerous. The risk of lung diseases is 230 percent higher than that of abstinent people.
“We knew from laboratory studies that e-cigarettes are hazardous to health, but now we have the first study to observe this in the normal life of smokers for years,” says Robert Lodden kemper, e-cigarette expert at the Society for Pneumology and respiratory medicine. It took decades for tobacco cigarettes to scientifically prove that smoking can be fatal. “And now we can see that the combination with ingredients from the e-cigarette, for example in the liquid or in the flavors, significantly increases the health risk, ” says Lodden kemper, who was not involved in the study.
The researchers around Glantz also point out weaknesses in their study. For example, illnesses could have developed over years before symptoms appeared. In addition, it was not possible to determine exactly how often e-cigarette consumers actually vaporized. For the first time, however, people were examined who were not considered lung diseases at the start of the study.
Heated nicotine containing liquid – Lung diseases from E-cigaret
Vaporizers from e-cigarettes inhale the vapor of a nicotine-containing liquid that is heated. According to the Cancer Research Center, e-cigarettes are very likely to be significantly less harmful compared to tobacco cigarettes. Because some harmful ingredients are not or not at all contained. According to earlier analyzes, there are also harmful substances that are present to a greater extent in e-cigarettes, writes the team around Glantz. Animal experiments had also shown that the ingredients of e-cigarettes could suppress parts of the immune system.
Katrin Schaller from the DKFZ recommends e-cigarettes only with reservations: “As a first option, smokers should use the approved and proven effective aids, in particular behavioral therapy, best combined with nicotine replacement products.” If that doesn’t work, smokers could try e-cigarettes. However, you should definitely switch completely to e-cigarettes, as every cigarette that is smoked is harmful. “Because of the currently unknown potential long-term health consequences of e-cigarette consumption, they should plan to stop using e-cigarette in the long term.”
The study is unrelated to the mysterious cases of acute lung disease in the United States. According to the US health agency CDC, 52 people had died there after using e-cigarettes by December 10, 2,409 were treated in the hospital. An oil extracted from vitamin E is believed to be the cause.
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