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Vaping Increases the Risk of Lung Disease By a Third: U.S. study

jan2020image002Using e-cigarettes significantly increases the risk of developing chronic lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema, according to U.S. researchers. The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows the potential long-term harms of using e-cigarettes, which are sometimes used to promote safe tobacco alternatives and even to help some quit smoking.

Inversely, the study found that e-cigarettes can increase the risk of lung disease by a third compared with those who never smoked or vaped. And the risk is higher for adults who used e-cigarettes and smoked tobacco.

“E-cigarettes are promoted as harmless and they’re not,” Stanton Glantz, director of the University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, told Reuters.  

For the survey, researchers used data from 32,000 adults surveyed in the CDC’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH). It tracked e-cigarette and tobacco habits, as well as new lung disease diagnoses, from 2013 to 2016.

No participants had lung disease at the start of the study. Three year later, researchers found that people who used e-cigarettes had about a 30% increased risk of developing lung diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), compared to those who never smoked or vaped. Those who smoked cigarettes had about twice the risk of chronic lung disease compared to those who never smoked. For those who smoked traditional and e-cigarettes, the risk more than tripled, the study found.

“Everybody, including me, used to think e-cigarettes are like cigarettes but not as bad. If you substitute a few e-cigarettes for cigarettes, you’re probably better off,” Glantz said. “It turns out you’re worse off. E-cigarettes pose unique risks in terms of lung disease.”

For more information about the report, visit Reuters.