Study reveals vaping more harmful to lungs than smoking
Posted on the 6th February 2023
A new study, published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, has revealed the impact vaping can have on users’ lungs.
The alarming report shows that e-cigarette users have greater lung inflammation than cigarette smokers and that vaping can “cause pulmonary inflammation and increases the risk of lung disease.”
While vaping e-liquids with e-cigarettes is often touted as a safer alternative to traditional nicotine products, this study is the first to provide evidence that the former creates a unique inflammatory response in the lungs that is different from cigarette smoking.
The lungs of cigarette and e-cigarette users were compared using PET imaging and a novel radiotracer.
Study participants were divided into three age- and sex-matched groups:
- Five e-cigarette users
- Five cigarette users
- Five never smoked/vaped controls.
E-cigarette users showed greater pulmonary inflammation than cigarette smokers and the never smoked/vaped controls.
A positive association between pulmonary and peripheral measures of inflammation was also found, suggesting that e-cigarette use may increase pulmonary inflammation.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) describes lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
The main symptoms of COPD include increasing breathlessness, especially when active; persistent chesty cough with phlegm; frequent chest infections; and persistent wheezing.
While the damage to the lungs caused by COPD is "permanent", treatment can help to slow down the progression of the disease.
Treatments can include inhalers and medications to help make breathing easier, and pulmonary rehabilitation.
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