A brand new study released in Inhalation Toxicology concluded that using electronic cigarettes does not harm lung function. The Greece-based study compared the impact of first and second-hand smoke and e-cig vapor on lung function.
Researchers worked with fifteen tobacco smokers and fifteen nonsmokers. The smoker group was comprised of both men and women and all of the participants smoked a minimum of fifteen cigarettes each day. The nonsmoker group was comprised of men and women who had never smoked.
The fifteen smokers were studied after smoking a tobacco cigarette of their choice. Then they were studied after vaping with an electronic cigarette. The fifteen nonsmokers were studied after inhaling second-hand cigarette smoke and then after inhaling electronic cigarette vapor. Both groups underwent tests to determine their serum and cotinine levels. Researchers also measured their lung function, nitric oxide levels, and exhaled carbon monoxide.
The research team noted cotinine levels were similar between both tobacco smokers and e-cig users. The cotinine levels are representative of exposure to nicotine. The similar outcome on cotinine levels reveals the e-cigs offer the same nicotine exposure as regular cigarettes. While the results were similar on this test, that was the only truly similar result.
Lung function was extremely different after exposure to tobacco cigarettes vs. e-cig exposure. When participants used electronic cigarettes or were exposed to e-cig vapor, it did not have cause any significant change to lung function. Tobacco cigarettes caused a major decline in lung function.
Exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke was more damaging to participants’ lung function than using electronic cigarettes. This study is important for putting to rest rumors that electronic cigarettes are harmful to people with breathing problems.
Previous studies have also shown similar results, with electronic cigarettes causing no impairment of lung function. Tobacco cigarettes are known to cause significant harm to lungs, leading to major breathing problems and lung disease or even cancer. According to the Lung Association of Canada, a smoker’s carbon dioxide levels will begin to decline within days of giving up cigarettes.
Studies like this are vital to improve the reputation of electronic cigarettes. While many people do not understand the differences between tobacco cigarettes and e-cigs, there is really no comparing the two. E-cigs seem to offer smokers an alternative way to enjoy nicotine and the act of smoking without sustaining acute lung damage in the process.
Do you feel e-cigs have improved your lung function?