Electronic cigarettes are often marketed as a safer, healthier alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, but just how helpful are they when it comes to smokers who suffer from physical conditions, such as asthma? Well, according to MDPI, a study was conducted into the effects of vaping on sufferers of asthma and this is what they found.
The aim of the study was to investigate how vaping affects the symptoms of asthma as well as testing the acceptability of these devices for asthmatic smokers who either quit or significantly reduce their smoking through the use of these products.
To test the effects of these products, researchers regularly monitored patient’s airway hyper-responsiveness (increased sensitivity in the airways, a characteristic of the condition), subjective asthma control in those who made the switch and used the devices on a regular basis and exacerbations in the condition of each participant. Measurements of these factors were recorded prior to making the switch and at two consecutive follow-ups. During each visit, the patients were re-evaluated according to a standard protocol. This meant that the patients were re-assessed in terms of clinical examination, a full review of smoking history, treatment adherence and efficacy. A total of 18 asthmatics (8 dual users and 10 single users) were noted and all had mild to moderate conditions.
The results showed that overall, there were notable improvements in both asthma control and AHR; these outcomes were recorded in both dual and single users. While a reduction in exacerbation rate was recorded, it was said to be negligible, but as a positive, no adverse effects were noted. The paper suggested that “this small retrospective study indicates that regular use of e-cigs to substitute smoking is associated with objective and subjective improvements in asthma outcomes.” It goes on to say that “considering e-cig use is reportedly less harmful than conventional smoking and can lead to reduced cigarette consumption with subsequent improvements in asthma outcomes, this study shows that e-cigs can be a valid option for asthmatic patients who cannot quit smoking by other methods.”
So, with no adverse effects for asthmatic patients and the paper itself stating that they could become a possibility for sufferers as a quit aid, what do you think about the results of the study? Do you think they could prove beneficial in the future for asthmatic patients or do you believe that more research should be carried out in terms of safety and efficiency?
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