The electronic cigarette, or e-cig, is portrayed as a less harmful alternative to cigarette smoking, but an American study says otherwise: vapers have an increased risk of developing asthma.
Scientists from the American Thoracic Society used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), conducted between 2015 and 2016. 17,190 candidates, aged 12 years or older, filled in the survey, of which only 3.1% used the e-cigarette in the past 30 days.
Compared to people who have never smoked or vaped in their life, researchers note that there is an increased risk of 19% for vapers. For tobacco smokers, the risk goes up to 20%, and former smokers are 33% more likely to develop this lung condition.
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"These results suggest that e-cigarette use is a modifiable risk factor for asthma and to be considered in the primary care of youth and young adults," Dr Teresa To says.
Stress and anxiety linked to vaping
Researchers see a link between high levels of stress and vaping. 15% of the vapers reported that their mental health condition is between "fair and poor", compared to the 7% of non-users that filled in the survey.
"Although vaping does not cause stress, it appears that cravings for vaping can be triggered by stress and anxiety, which is challenging for the e-cigarette user," Dr Teresa To explained in a statement.