New Study Finds Vaping Link to Long-Term Respiratory Disease
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New Study Finds Vaping Link to Long-Term Respiratory Disease

By Katrina Hapner, contributing writer for Telegraph Local

In a new research study done by the University of California San Francisco, Vaping, or E-cigarette usage does increase an individuals risk of “developing chronic lung disease like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” This long-term respiratory disease study is the first linking vaping to respiratory disease in a sample of the United States adult population.  This new study also shows that people who vape along with traditional smoking tobacco, had even a higher incidence of chronic lung disease.  Unfortunately, this appears to be a very common usage pattern.

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Published on December 16,, 2019 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the findings were taken from publicaly available data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH).  This data was collected by tracking e-cigarette and regular tobacco usage and comparing it to incidents of new lung disease diagnosis with regards to 32,000 Americans between 2013 and 2016.

There had previously been studies that seemed to point to an association between vaping and lung disease, but these quick studies were also inconclusive and did not allow researchers to say with certainty whether vaping was causing lung disease, or that people with lung issues were vaping more.  The difference with the UC San Francisco study, is that it started with a group of people who did not yet have any reported lung disease, and then keeping tabs on them for three years. 

The statistics are startling as reported by Stanton Glantz, PhD, a UCSF professor, as he states, “for e-cigarette users, the odds of developing lung disease increased by about a third”.  He went on to say that the study concluded that vaping is harmful alone and independent from conventional tobacco smoking.  However, the study does still show that people who vape are 1.3 times more like to develop chronic lung disease, but conventional tobacco smoking still carries a risk of 2.6 times.

Though current and former e-cigarette users were 1.3 times more likely to develop chronic lung disease, tobacco smokers increased their risk by a factor of 2.6. For dual users – people who smoke and use e-cigarettes at the same time – these two risks multiply, more than tripling the risk of developing lung disease.  

This study is very timely due to arguments about weather vaping should be advertised as less harmful than traditional tobacco smoking.  The study does give clarity to this issue, and satisfaction for vape users that they are harming themselves a tiny bit less.

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It is very important to state, however, that these study results are not related to EVALI (E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury), the severe lung disease that hospitalized some vape users, and killed others.  This new study, however, does add hard indisputable data towards the growing that vaping still does have a negative effect on the lung health of Americans.

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