But a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that adults who vape over a few years could be at higher risk for chronic respiratory disease such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
Health experts continue to examine what caused the spate of serious lung injuries linked to vaping that grabbed headlines throughout 2019.
“Use of e-cigarettes is an independent risk factor for respiratory disease in addition to combustible tobacco smoking,” the study says. “Dual use, the most common use pattern, is riskier than using either product alone.”
Dr. Charles Alex, a pulmonologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., says that until more studies are completed, the use of e-cigarettes is not recommended.
“More and more cases of severe acute lung injury with the use of e-cigarettes are being reported, often requiring hospitalization,” Dr. Alex says. “Recently, a user developed irreparable lung damage from vaping and eventually underwent bilateral lung transplantation.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that as of late December, 2,561 vaping cases ended up in hospitals, and those cases span all 50 states.
“The cause of the injury is not entirely clear, but data is emerging that incriminates the many substances that can be found in e-cigarettes such as nicotine, cannabis and various flavorings,” Dr. Alex says. “In addition, the heat for these devices can cause irritation and inflammation of the lung airways.”