Experts Warn E-Cigarettes Can Damage The Lungs


New research has shown that despite electronic cigarettes being marketed as a potentially safer alternative to normal cigarettes, they are still causing harm to the lungs.

A new study, presented today (Sunday 2 September 2012) at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Vienna, has added new evidence to the debate over the safety of alternative nicotine-delivery products.

Electronic cigarettes are devices that deliver nicotine through a vapour, rather than smoke. There is no combustion involved but the nicotine in the device is still derived from tobacco. There has been much debate over the safety and efficiency of the products, but little scientific evidence to support either claim.

Researchers from the University of Athens in Greece aimed to investigate the short-term effects of using e-cigarettes on different people, including people without any known health problems and smokers with and without existing lung conditions.

The study included 8 people who had never smoked and 24 smokers, 11 with normal lung function and 13 people with either chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.

Each person used an electronic cigarette for 10 minutes. The researchers then measured their airway resistance using a number of tests, including a spirometry test.

The results showed that for all people included in the study, the e-cigarette caused an immediate increase in airway resistance, lasting for 10 minutes. In healthy subjects (never smokers) there was a statistically significant increase in airway resistance from a mean average of 182% to 206%.

In smokers with normal spirometry there was a statistically significant increase from a mean average of 176% to 220%. In COPD and asthma patients the use of one e-cigarette seemed to have no immediate effect to airway resistance.

Professor Christina Gratziou, one of the authors and Chair of the ERS Tobacco Control Committee, said: “We do not yet know whether unapproved nicotine delivery products, such as e-cigarettes, are safer than normal cigarettes, despite marketing claims that they are less harmful. This research helps us to understand how these products could be potentially harmful.

“We found an immediate rise in airway resistance in our group of participants, which suggests e-cigarettes can cause immediate harm after smoking the device. More research is needed to understand whether this harm also has lasting effects in the long-term.

“The ERS recommends following effective smoking cessation treatment guidelines based on clinical evidence which do not advocate the use of such products.”

4 thoughts on “Experts Warn E-Cigarettes Can Damage The Lungs

  • September 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Tobacco Companies and Governments really are getting scared aren’t they :-) they really dont want these things getting too popular

  • September 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Big Tabbaco should be scared I smoked for 15 year got asthma, I switched over to the ecigg. Guess what I don’t use puffers anymore.

    • September 4, 2012 at 2:49 am

      I am shocked!…I smoked for 23 years and tried a lot of the wink wink Goverment approved methods to quit and continued to smoke and line their pockets …I just want people that are thinking about trying this to quit to think about looking deeper into why the Goverment does not want you to quit smoking and about the the e-cig themselves.
      Take a look at the ingredients that comprise e-juice ( VG, PG,food grade flavor and nicotine) Then take a look at all of the above in the ways that their already inhaled as medicine and used to help many medical disorders and health conditions …as a final note I will leave you with this I no longer smoke due to the product. My doctor sends people to an e-cig rep that he trusts and second …um last time I checked the world health order classified nicotine as a bronchio dialator not a restrictor…bottom line the Goverment is now making really bad e-juice lol!

  • September 4, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I’m not sure that ANYONE has said that using an ecig is SAFE relative to not smoking at all, however, I believe it to be a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes. These studies would be infinitely more efficacious to the debate only IF the effects of vaping were compared to the effects of smoking. The majority of folks who are using these devices are former, hardcore smokers, who have tried using (and failed)the ‘conventional’ (BIG PHARMA APPROVED) NRTs. Just for the record, the safety of ‘approved’ NRTs is questionable. Just because a product is approved, does not mean that it is safe. Case in point is the use of Champix/Chantix (neuropsychiatric symptoms including changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicide-related events, including ideation, behavior, and attempted suicide). Food for thought.


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