Vaping is much healthier than smoking and e-cigarettes are considered an ideal alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, many people are still concerned about whether long-term e-cigarette use may bring risks to lung health.
A long-term study on the effects of e-cigarettes and vaping devices was conducted by researchers. The aim of the study was to compare health outcomes between a group of daily e-cigarette users who had never smoked tobacco and twelve never smokers and non-users of e-cigarettes over 3.5 years. This study, to date, is the first of this kind. Researchers found no detectable changes in lung health in never smokes who have been regularly vaping for at least 4 years. The study was published in Scientific Reports this November.
In the observational study, researchers compared health outcomes of the two groups. The health outcomes included blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, lung function, respiratory symptoms, as well as exhaled biomarkers of airway inflammation. Users were carefully followed for approximately 3.5 years.
According to the researchers, they found no decrements in spirometric indices, development of respiratory symptoms, changes in markers of lung inflammation in exhaled air of findings of early lung damage on HRCT, when compared with a carefully matched group of never-smoking non-EC users. The results may contribute to the current understanding of the potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes use.
There has been a growing concern of the “adverse cardiovascular effects” of nicotine and the use of e-cigarettes. Some researchers are concerned about their potential influence on blood pressure and heart rate. However, the Scientific Report study found no obvious changes in blood pressure and heart rate among vapers. Besides, the researchers also found higher concentrations of diacetyl did not contribute to the development of “popcorn lung.”
Although it cannot be excluded that some harm may occur at later stages, this study did not demonstrate any health concerns associated with long-term use of e-cigarettes. Therefore, policy makers should take the growing body of evidence showing e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes into account. Instead of enacting burdensome taxes and regulations similar to those for cigarettes, they should enact policies which promote tobacco harm reduction tools, including e-cigarettes.
Ryan is a writer, editor and content creator who spends most of his time bringing the interesting, entertaining, original and well-written articles to vapers. He believes that vaping is not only a healthier alternative to smoking, but also a great experience of life.