Disclosures: Xie reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
November 25, 2020
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E-cigarette use increases risk for developing major respiratory diseases

Disclosures: Xie reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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In a new study, e-cigarette use was associated with increased risk for developing major respiratory diseases, including asthma, bronchitis and COPD, independent of cigarette smoking or use of other tobacco products.

“Our findings highlight the potential respiratory harms associated with e-cigarette use and the importance of developing regulations to combat their increasing use,” Wubin Xie, DrPH, MPH, postdoctoral associate in the department of global health at Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues wrote in JAMA Network Open.

The prospective cohort study analyzed data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study of 21,618 adults (29.1% men; 65.2% non-Hispanic white) with no prevalent respiratory conditions from wave 1 (2013-2014), wave 2 (2014-2015), wave 3 (2015-2016) and wave 4 (2016-2018).

Among the cohort, 65.7% reported never using e-cigarettes, 11.6% were former e-cigarette users and 5.2% reported current e-cigarette use.

Researchers observed an increased risk for incident respiratory disease among former e-cigarette users (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.28; 95% CI, 1.09-1.5) and current e-cigarette users (IRR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.08-1.59) after adjusting for cigarette and other tobacco product use, demographic characteristics and chronic health conditions.

The IRR among those with good self-rated health was 1.21 (95% CI, 1-1.46) for former e-cigarette users and 1.43 (95% CI, 1.14-1.79) for current e-cigarette users, according to the results.

Among current e-cigarette users, with the researchers reported increased risk for chronic bronchitis (IRR = 1.33; 95% CI, 1.06-1.67), emphysema (IRR = 1.69; 95% CI, 1.15-2.49), COPD (IRR = 1.57; 95% CI, 1.15-2.13) and asthma (IRR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.01-1.71).

“While the associations with e-cigarette use were largely consistent across respiratory conditions, outcomes associated with e-cigarette use may vary according to specific respiratory conditions,” Xie and colleagues wrote. “The potentially distinctive role of e-cigarette on these specific respiratory conditions needs to be clarified in future investigations.”