A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in Dec. 2019 found that the use of e-cigarettes increased risk for chronic lung diseases including asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The study looked at data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, a national and longitudinal on-going study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PATH Study follows about 49,000 people ages 12 and older, documenting their tobacco use and its effects on their health at a series of intervals known as waves.
Researchers used data from participants in waves one to three from 2013 to 2016. After controlling for traditional combustible tobacco products, demographics, and clinical variables, they found that current e-cigarette users were 29% more likely to have a lung disease incident by waves two or three, compared to those who used no inhaled tobacco products. People who were former e-cigarette users were 31% more likely.
The study also found that current combustible tobacco users had a 156% higher risk, and those who used both e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco had a 230% higher risk.
By Benjamin Duong
Benjamin Duong is a medical student and freelance writer based in Dothan, Alabama. He has a Masters of Public Health from the George Washington University and majored in microbiology and political science at the University of Florida. He has worked on advocacy for issues ranging from medical education to global maternal and infant mortality.