Contrasting Views And Findings About Vaping And Respiratory Health


In a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, researchers examined the relationship between vaping, smoking, and wheezing in a sample of 17,075 US adults. According to the compiled data, vaping alone did not increase the risk of self-reported wheezing. However, there was a slight increase in the risk between vaping and wheezing among smokers. Therefore, the authors concluded that vaping products are relatively safe.

In contrast, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation in New Zealand urged citizens to avoid COPD by refraining from vaping on World COPD Day. However, AVCA, a vaping advocacy group in the country, believes that the foundation should provide concrete evidence to back their claims. Renowned respiratory health and tobacco expert Professor Riccardo Polosa agreed, stating that the ARFNZ should consider scientific papers such as his research, which highlights the improvement in lung function and symptoms in COPD patients who switched from smoking to vaping.

Several studies have linked vaping with lung disease, but most are flawed and biased. One such study reported that adults who used e-cigarettes were more likely than non-vapers to be told they had lung disease after a three-year follow-up. However, many people start vaping to quit smoking, making ex-smokers who are prone to developing respiratory issues more likely to be vapers. There is also the possibility of reverse causality, where individuals with respiratory disease/symptoms are more likely to initiate vaping.

A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded that smokers who switch to vaping reduce their exposure to lethal toxins and carcinogens. The report presents 47 conclusions categorized by their strength of evidence, with “conclusive evidence” being the strongest. It determined that there is reliable evidence that completely switching from smoking to vaping reduces users’ exposure to a multitude of toxicants and carcinogens.

In summary, while some health groups remain misinformed about the relative benefits of vaping, several reputable studies and scientific bodies have highlighted the relative safety of vaping compared to smoking. However, it is important to acknowledge the potential flaws in studies linking vaping to lung disease and to consider factors such as reverse causality and smoking history.

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