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Respiratory tract diseases

E-cigarettes increase risk of chronic lung disease, study suggests

E-cigarettes significantly increase the risk of chronic lung disease, a long-term study has found.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on 16 December 2019, found that using e-cigarettes increases a person’s risk of developing asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The researchers, from the University of California in San Francisco, said it was the first longitudinal study linking e-cigarettes to respiratory illness in a sample representative of the entire US adult population.

The study was based on an analysis of publicly available data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health, which tracked e-cigarette and tobacco habits as well as new lung disease diagnoses in more than 32,000 American adults from 2013 to 2016.

Researchers also found that people who used e-cigarettes and smoked tobacco, had a higher risk of developing chronic lung disease than those who used either product alone.

Senior author Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, said: “What we found is that for e-cigarette users, the odds of developing lung disease increased by about a third, even after controlling for their tobacco use and their clinical and demographic information.”

“We concluded that e-cigarettes are harmful on their own, and the effects are independent of smoking conventional tobacco,” he added.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207483

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