Login or Register

Two-Thirds of Smokers who Switch to Vaping Report Fewer Lung Infections

Posted 23rd Aug 2016 to Vaping News


Vaping does not cause lung infections


A recent study conducted by Queen Mary University of London found that two-thirds of smokers who make the switch to vaping have fewer respiratory infections after doing so. Previous studies on electronic cigarettes had found that vaping would make one more susceptible to infection, but those studies were done on cells and rats, and were not done on human subjects. While the study was conducted through an online survey in which vapers were self-reporting, and more study is required to confirm the results, the initial findings are promising and were published in the Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy.


Aim of the study was to get human data in response to earlier studies


The study aim was to get data on human susceptibility to infection after switching from smoking to vaping. Previous studies conducted on cells and rats had found that vaping increased the potential for vapers to develop respiratory infections, but the study authors pointed out various limitations to these studies. From the study:


“Regarding the study that found a damage to epithelial cells harvested from 8-10 year old donors and incubated in e-liquid (not in e-cigarette aerosol) for up to 48 h, it is unclear to what extent such exposure corresponds to eوٴects of vaping. Also, no comparison with eوٴects of cigarette smoke was included.


Regarding the mice study, it has been pointed out that the increased morbidity and mortality in experimental animals could have been caused by high levels of stress and nicotine poisoning rather than by the presumed effects of free radicals. The study did not include a smoking control either, but it noted that the level of free radicals was ‘several orders of magnitude lower than in cigarette smoke.”


Researchers on study concerned about vaping misinformation discouraging smokers


The lead author on the study is Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary’s Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine. He expressed concerns that smokers would not try vaping as a smoking cessation method after reviewing negative studies about vaping. He had this to say about it:


“There is no doubt that e-cigarettes are much safer than conventional cigarettes, but smokers are still led to believe that they’re dangerous. This misinformation includes a misreported study on rats that claimed that vaping may increase vulnerability to infections. These new findings from human vapers show that this is not the case.”


Methodology and conclusions


Responses were solicited online from vapers who had been vaping for over two months, and who had reduced smoking over 95%. Repeated entrants were screened out, and they were asked to give one of three answers - if respiratory infections had a) increased b) decreased or c) not changed since they began vaping. Out of 941 respondents, the results were:


No change: 29%

Improvement: 66%

Worsening: 5%


While the study authors pointed out that the results were self-reporting and therefore subjective, their conclusion was that the study provided a “reasonable reassurance” that vaping does not cause respiratory infections, and may reduce them both through the antimicrobial properties of propylene glycol and the fact that many of the harmful chemicals present in cigarette smoke are not present in ecigarette vapour.


No outside funding was used for the study.


The full paper can be viewed here.


Please wait...