Posted in: Health Studies

Bad News, Quitters: Electronic Cigarettes Harm The Lungs

Smoking e-cigarettes has its own health risks

Attention smokers: If you’re looking to quit and are perusing various alternatives and smoking-cessation aids, you might want to look past the recent wave of electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes). Turns out, these are damaging to your lungs as well.

Though electronic cigarettes may seem like an appealing and healthy alternative to tobacco products, they actually do cause damage to the lungs, according to scientists from the University of Athens, Greece. On Sunday, at the European Respiratory Society‘s Annual Congress 2012 in Vienna, Professor Christina Gratziou and team revealed their discoveries regarding a study to determine what the short-term effects of e-cigarette use might be on different individuals, including those with no known health problems and existing smokers with and without lung conditions.

They found that the use of e-cigarettes causes an instant increase in airway resistance that lasts for 10 minutes in a majority of participants. A significant increase was found in non-smokers, regular smokers, and COPD and asthma patients. Professor Christina Gratziou (via Medical News Today) said this:

“We do not yet know whether unapproved nicotine delivery products, such as e-cigarettes, are safer than normal cigarettes, despite marketing claims that they are less harmful. This research helps us to understand how these products could be potentially harmful,” said Professor Gratziou. “We found an immediate rise in airway resistance in our group of participants, which suggests e-cigarettes can cause immediate harm after smoking the device. More research is needed to understand whether this harm also has lasting effects in the long-term. The ERS recommends following effective smoking cessation treatment guidelines based on clinical evidence which do not advocate the use of such products.”

Electronic cigarettes are gaining in popularity due to their similarity to regular tobacco cigarettes, though without the actual smoke. Manufacturers, distributors, and marketers of these products have defended them as a healthier alternative to the use of tobacco products, though this new research shows that even the smoking of electronic cigarettes is not without health risks.

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39 Responses to “Bad News, Quitters: Electronic Cigarettes Harm The Lungs”

  1. Zain Wolf

    No one has ever claimed that e-cigarettes are healthy, but they are proven to be FAR less harmful than cigarettes. Propaganda such as this serves only to frighten people away from harm reduction and you should be ashamed of yourself for publishing it. The "quit or die" approach is obviously not good enough when human suffering and lives are at stake! To not even properly investigate the potential benefits of vaping smacks of willful ignorance with a financial agenda.

    I won't ever take Inquisitr seriously again.

  2. Debbie Guardino

    Why wasn't a comparison study done that shows how much "airway restriction" is caused by smoking a traditional cigarette? Could it be because by using electronic cigarettes instead of "approved" cessation methods such as Chantix, the company that makes this very harmful drug could stand to lose a lot of money. Funny how it wasn't mentioned that Professor Christine Gratziou previously co authored a study that was paid for by Pfizer on the effectiveness of Chantix.

  3. Melanie Burgess

    I agree with Zain, this is nothing more than propaganda for the tobacco companies who are looking to scare e-cigarette users. None of these studies detail a fair test between real long term use of cigarettes and long term use of e-cigarettes, I think the facts speak for themselves. Cigarettes contain over 5000 harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide and tar. E-cigs do not. Just take a look at the blog page has a very interesting infographic on cigarette usage. The end line hits home. why swap 5000 sunrises for one bad habit?

  4. William Piper

    maybe a real study is due! b.s. thoughts or feelings is not science esp when no one is campiaring it to real cig.

  5. Mountain Oak Vapors

    There are scientists out there who do not even believe that global warming is real. True story! You can find a scientist to drivel anything you want. The only thing we can count on as truths are what we see and witness and feel on our own.

  6. Richard Arnold

    So their finds are that for 10 minutes after you use an ecig your chest gets a little tight.. well after smoking a cigarette your lungs become filled with over 3000 chemicals.. Try and tell me that is better? I didn't see them mention what kind of ejuice they were using.. Pg? Vg? I bet it was 100% pg which alot of people are sensitive to.. How much did they vape? at what voltage? Was it an acidic e juice? Or maybe they just used the cheap gas station ecigs? Too much is missing in the details.

  7. John HIpple

    I read the original study that this information was pulled from. The study found that e-cigs cause restriction in the airways lasting up to 10 min at wich point airflow goes back to normal. Also the people who performed the test stated that the study "SUGGESTS that e-cigs MAY be harmful." and that "further study is required on long term effects. This article is trying to make it sound like these results show that they will kill you. Guess what running will cause restricted airflow as well does that mean that exercise will have harmful effects?

  8. Jennie Woods

    This information is about worthless without knowing what kind of juice was used. PG or VG? What was in the juice? How does this compare to inhaling some kind of control like water vapor? Why isn't there a link to the study results? Knowing the juice is critical here and for e-cig users.

  9. Terrence Frederick

    I assume that the e-cigs would cause a momentary resistence problem in the lungs, after all, the person is inhaling something that is not simply air. However, the results do not indicate that there is a long term issue that is related to say, cigarettes or cigars.

  10. Jennie Woods

    Using an air freshener means people are inhaling something that's not simply air. I'm just irritated that the articles reporting these studies never discuss what's in the juice. Maybe it is a long term issue. Maybe it isn't a long term issue. Maybe there's a huge difference between VG and PG juices or they could be the same. My complaint is with the reporting.

  11. Joe Woodlock

    um…just thought id point out that cigarettes are harmful to the lungs both short term and long term…..if eCigs are harmful to the lungs too but the body is not getting a lot of the other chemicals then arnt eCigs a healthier option anyway?

  12. Reece Haslam

    A load of lies right there! Tax from cigarettes is enough to make any government try to discourage people from using these fantastic things! I have not smoked for three weeks now and I have never been able to quit for more than a day for years! Iv saved fortunes and fell so much healthier. Someone was allways going to try to throw a spanner in the works for people quoting with these

  13. James Szalay

    nicotine causes bronchospasm, which would consequently increase airway restriction. No surprise here.

  14. Jermaine Carty

    Glad I read these comments, now I can sit back relax and smoke my amazing ecig in peace :) scientists don't half mess peoples heads up!

  15. Jenny Stout

    It helps when you do a study that you don't have an alternative motive or a strong bias (and maybe not a blatant amount of lobbying from tobacco companies). If there was an actual unbiased study, giving chain smokers an e-cigarette, it would show that they would stop coughing, will feel less winded, gain back taste buds and feel more healthy than ever. E-cigarettes are gaining popularity because basically they are a godsend to so many people. Now they're talking about banning e-cigarettes based on these ridiculous studies. It will be a death sentence on these people, including my boyfriend where e-cigs are the only thing keeping them from smoking the real thing.

  16. Dan Cheong

    the title scared me for a while, at least e-cig is better than the normal cig…

  17. Anonymous

    I have used an e-cig off and on for over 4 years and exclusivly for 2 months as I quit tobacco products as a whole. Just as James Szalay pointed out you can expect airway restriction with any nicotine product, including the Nicorette Inhalers which a study shown to have comparable effects to the Ecig. The one piece that IMHO that would even be up for debate on "Health Concerns" would be the inhalation of Propylene glycol, but considering that it is already approved in many Pharmaceutical applications, but has been cited to be linked to some health conditions. Even the Glycerol versions are cited to some possible side effects. But I agree that articles like this are written by hacks who solely are written to push their own personal agenda's. You leave my nicotine habit alone, and I will leave your alcoholism alone, or your addicition to Caffiene, or you Chocolate, or that big mac you eat every day; but then again you do not wish to discuss your vices…. :/

  18. Leon Livesey

    What I cant understand is this, they want to ban these because they don't know the long term effects. They know the long term effects of cigarettes, they know they cause cancer and other lung and mouth related diseases yet they don't ban them. hmmmm I just cant understand it all, I know it hasn't got anything to do with the millions they get from taxes, so what could it be?

  19. James Szalay

    My guess would be big tobacco lobbying for their share of nicotine addicts, sadly.

  20. Lizard Juice

    If you are even a light smoker and you switch to e-cigs you are going to experience health benefits. Taking an absolutist approach to habits like smoking, alcohol consumption, sugar and fat consumption is self-defeating. The key is to manage these habits/vices — whatever you want to call them — so that you are not on balance negatively impacting your health.It's all about moderation. But what you need to remember about smoking cigarettes is that even in relatively small amounts, smoking cigarettes is going to introduce a load of toxins into your body — into all your tissues, and affect your breathing, and sense of smell. Not to mention you will stink! Therefore, a "moderation" approach to smoking cancer sticks doesn't work all that well. That's where vaping comes in. Big Pharma are they're scared becaue e-cigs are a very sensible alternative to smoking, and the need to resort to patches, gums eliminated.

  21. Christopher Hintz

    dont waste your money i bought the lizard and have had nothing but problems with it leaking and have had even more problems with the company out of florida taking action to fixing my problem i have invested almost $200 into these things and all i have of the origional equipment is the battery its not worth your time and a waste of money trust me find a local vapor shop and go thru them because these people at lizard juice are a joke!

  22. Daniel Osterman-Burgess

    Lizard Juice is my local vapor shop, and they're excellent. I've had no problems at all with mine.

  23. Trevor Gowe

    Tommy O'Hare

    We are well outside the natural heating and cooling cycles this planet experiences. Global warming is very real.

  24. Christopher Lancelot Tyler

    Technically a person doesn't even have to inhale the nicotine vapor to get the effects.
    The vapor absorbs into the mucus glands (nose, mouth). This is why it takes a little longer to feel e-cigs than normal cigs.

    Of course there may be some circulation effects due to nicotine itself, but one would think a scientist would actually know how an e-cig works before conducting a study.

  25. Manuel Newton

    They failed to mention that people with Asthma that was tested in this study showed no air restriction at all. That's probably because asthma inhalers work much like an e-cig. These people are used to it. They also failed to test people that are used to vaping the e-cigs. I'm sure if they did test regular users of ecigs, they would find the same thing they found in the asthma testers. Nothing. Your body would get used to it and adjust over time.

  26. Manuel Newton

    Another study funded by pharmaceutical companies and big tobacco that loose millions of dollars from people swithching to ecigs and not buying their "quit smoking" products or regular cigarettes that contain thousands of chemicals and already have well documented health problems. Don't believe their lies people!!

  27. Fabio Brown

    Adam Blair lol funded by pfizer who has a financial interest in saying e-cigs are bad so you'll use their drugs instead. if there's any legitimacy to this, I wouldn't be shocked.

  28. Colton Lance

    Obviously nicotine isnt good for you, its a stimulant like caffine and can also raise blood pressure, but would i rather put nicotine in my system or smoke nicotine, tar, and many other harmful things that cause much more than jus cancer. Common sence. I dont need a doctor to tell me the answer. Also common sense: the vapor is water with nocotine, there is no tar in it so it will not stick to your lungs or turn your lungs black. Not all the vapor will be exhaled which is y some people cough up flem when useing vapor. This is not a bad thing, your lungs are just cleaning themselves. Please, anyone looking for info on ecigs, do not listen to these no it alls. Most are prob hired by tabb comp. UNLESS they come up with scientific evidence saying that the battery used to burn it can be harmful to you.

  29. Elizabeth Mcghee Youngman

    Hi my name is elizabeth and i bought one to help me and after two days i felt like my air ways was shuting off so i stop useing it and now I'm fine so i would stop useing it if you have one

  30. Rebecca Kingsley

    What is not being mentioned the harm being done to the lungs of babies and young children with real cigarettes from second hand smoke. At least with e-cigs the smoker is keeping the risk to themselves.

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