Saturday, 25th November, 2017 – A 3.5-year scientific study of regular daily vapers and e-cigarette users who are non-smokers was finally published on Nature on 17th November last Friday. The conclusion? Even the heaviest electronic cigarette users or vapers have shown positive physiologic or clinical results in their health!
“Even the heaviest EC users failed to exhibit any evidence of emerging lung injury as reflected in these physiologic, clinical or inflammatory measures. Moreover, no changes were noted in blood pressure or heart rate. The results of this study may provide some preliminary evidence that long-term use of ECs is unlikely to raise significant health concerns in relatively young users.”
This is a truly important study, as it is the very first scientific study published regarding the long term effects of vaping or using electronic cigarettes today. On top of that, it’s a study carried out on young adult EC users (≥ 18 years old) who are non-smokers, further enhancing the accuracy of the study because of the participants’ neutral baseline health.
“Participants were invited for a free medical check-up at the Centro per la Prevenzione e Cura del Tabagismo (CPCT) of the University of Catania. Age and sex-matched non-smoking controls (and not using ECs) were selected from hospital staff and included as a reference (control) group. Subjects were recruited from June 2013 to September 2013 and data collection completed in March 2017. Participants came to the CPCT in the mornings for their check-up visits during which vital signs (blood pressure – BP, heart rate – HR, body weight) as well as measurements of lung function, respiratory symptoms, and airway inflammation (eNO and eCO levels) were recorded. Details of EC-related products purchased (i.e. ECs hardware, e-liquid nicotine strengths and flavours) were also noted. Three additional follow-up visits were scheduled yearly for up to 3.5 years; follow-up visits 1 (F/up1), 2 (F/up2) and 3 (F/up3) were carried out at 12 (±1), 24 (±2) and 42 (±2) months after baseline visits, respectively. At F/up3, EC users were offered the additional option of undergoing lung HRCT. All these tests and measurements were carried out in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations. University of Catania Ethics Review Board approved the study protocol and subjects gave informed consent prior to participation.
Visual assessment of the HRCT scans showed no pathological findings. In particular, no CT features compatible with early signs of COPD (i.e. parenchymal micronodules, ground-glass opacity, or macroscopic emphysema) or lipoid pneumonia or popcorn lung disease were present.”
This study shows no detectable changes in lung health in never smokers who have been regularly vaping for at least 4 years.
“Of note, no early pathological signs were observed in subjects with the highest e-liquid consumption (i.e. 5 mls/day) and longest overall vaping hx (i.e. 57 months). Daily exposure to ECs aerosol emissions caused no significant changes in any of the health outcomes investigated, including measures of lung function and lung inflammation. Moreover, no significant structural abnormalities could be identified on HRCT of the lungs and no respiratory symptoms were consistently reported. Six of the nine EC users who completed the study were still consuming nicotine-containing e-liquids as reported on their last visit.
Tobacco combustion products, not nicotine, cause most of the adverse health effects of smoking27.
In this study, no significant changes in systolic BP, diastolic BP or HR were observed in the EC user group throughout the study. Moreover, no notable individual changes were observed in any of the vapers consuming nicotine-containing e-liquids. Thus, consumption of low dose nicotine did not seem to have significant adverse cardiovascular effects, as shown in recent EC studies of healthy smokers28 and smokers with arterial hypertension29. Also, the latest US Surgeon General’s report that examined harm from tobacco and nicotine has concluded that – although it may adversely affect foetus and adolescent brain development – nicotine does not contribute to smoking-related diseases30.”
Given that particle size in ECs aerosols is well within the respiratory range31,32, these particles can penetrate deeply within the lungs; therefore the concern that long-term exposure to ECs aerosol emissions may carry some health risk is reasonable18,19,33. However, in this study no significant changes in lung function, respiratory symptoms, FeNO or eCO measurements were found.”
Understanding the media, we can be compassionate for journalists knowing that they need to do their jobs to gain attention. It’s unfortunate that as humans, we are also more attracted to negative news due to our survival instincts. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to stay unclear as to the benefits of vaping and e-cigarette use as compared to smoking.
For example, over the years there have also been sensationalism on terms such as popcorn lungs. Here’s what this factual and scientific 3.5-year study quotes on that:
“Flavorings in the e-liquid are generally considered safe to eat, but have largely unknown effects on the lung when heated and inhaled. Chronic exposure to high levels of diacetyl – a flavoring substance commonly used in the food industry for its appealing buttery aroma – in microwave popcorn workers has been shown to be associated with cases of bronchiolitis obliterans (i.e. “popcorn lung”)43,44. Although many vaping liquids may contain high concentrations of diacetyl45,46, there is no report that this has caused bronchiolitis obliterans in EC users. In this study, no features consistent with early sign of bronchiolitis obliterans were described in any of the EC users undergoing HRCT.”
This study is the first of its kind that shows the long term benefits of vaping or the use of electronic cigarettes over smoking, and there will only be more studies proving the same results. The reason why there will be more is because of the nature of facts – they are true and will reliably remain true.
Here at Vapebrothers we’d like to call upon smokers again and provide ourselves with this reminder: We choose vaping or use electronic cigarettes because we don’t want the harms to our health that comes from smoking tobacco cigarettes. We have the power to make decisions, and we are always empowered with the capability to choose vaping over smoking – to do so based on the facts we clearly know, and to stick by the right decisions!
With this, we urge all smokers to make that switch, and to stop smoking permanently for your health!