A study that followed 32,000 Americans for three years has reported that e-cigarette consumers increased their risk of suffering the same chronic lung illnesses as smokers, according to its results published on Monday.
In the US a link between vaping and a rapid and serious illness that has caused 52 deaths (Evali) was established this year. The malady is very specific to one type of cartridge, frequently illegal and sold under the counter, that is infused with cannabis and contains a toxicity-causing ingredient: a form of vitamin E oil.
The study published on Monday shows that vapers had 30% more risk of developing serious lung conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, when compared to persons who do not vape. When people both vape and smoke, which is not uncommon, the risk is tripled.
“We have concluded that e-cigarettes were harmful in themselves, with effects that are produced independently from conventional tobacco consumption,” one of the authors Stanton Glatz, a professor of medicine and director of the University of California’s centre for tobacco research in San Francisco, said.
However, despite the health implications, e-cigarettes are still less harmful than traditional cigarettes, the study found, “If you’re going to do one or the other, in terms of these respiratory effects you’re probably better off with an e-cigarette,” Glantz explained.
“Yes, vaping is associated with about 29% to 31% higher odds of subsequent lung disease within two to three years than not vaping—but compare this with the 156% higher odds of using combustible tobacco than not smoking,” Andy Tan – assistant professor of population sciences at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – told Time Magazine.
This news comes not long after a study found that nearly 40% of Belgians see picking up vaping as a good way to drop their smoking habit, as previously reported.
Out of the around 2 million smokers in Belgium, the proportion of those who use an electronic cigarette has been annually increasing by around 10%, the survey by Insites Consulting shows.