The first conclusive study over the health effects of vaping has been published over in the US and it’s not good news.
According to the study, carried out by researchers from the University of San Francisco, vaping does contribute to lung disease in adults regardless of whether or not they also smoke tobacco.
The research used data collected by the Food and Drug Administration and has been published this week in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
The data came from 32,000 adults between the years of 2013 and 2016 and was analysed from 2018 to 2019.
‘Use of e-cigarettes is an independent risk factor for respiratory disease in addition to combustible tobacco smoking,’ the scientists concluded. ‘Dual use, the most common use pattern, is riskier than using either product alone.’
Vaping and e-cigarettes have only really come into the mainstream since 2003 and many have held them up as an answer to traditional smoking.
But those who carried out the study are firm in the belief they are harmful. They state that vapers are 1.3 times more likely than non-vapers to develop diseases like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma.
‘I think it’s a critically important paper,’ Harvard University professor of public health Joseph Allen, who was not involved with the study, told Popular Science.
‘We don’t have any information as of now on the potential long-term impacts of e-cigarettes on respiratory health.’
Up to October, 1,604 cases of lung injury associated with vaping had been reported across the US, 34 of which resulted in death.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, medical director at the British Lung Foundation Dr Nick Hopkinson said there is ‘no evidence’ that Brits have suffered the same acute reactions to e-cigarettes as have been reported in the States.
Officials believe illicitly produced products containing THC – the psychoactive component of cannabis – are to blame rather than nicotine liquids, which have been used in the US for more than 10 years.
Public Health England (PHE) has said it is possible similar items are being sold in the UK, and stressed users should take caution about where they buy them from. The organisation has also said that it is ‘as certain as ever’ that vaping is less harmful than smoking’.