There has been recent research from a team including Riccardo Polosa regarding the effects of eCigs on the airways. Polosa was part of the team responsible for the study last year which found vapour to be at least 96% less harmful than cigarette smoke.
The recent study looks at how the airways change in people who are switching or have switched from smoking to using vape / eCig devices and considered several different groups.
1) People who have quit smoking totally but now just use eCigs
2) People who have reduced their smoking but also vape.
3) People who had stopped vaping and resumed smoking
The review studies the changes in spirometric indices as well as the respiratory systems in smokers who are quitting, have quit or failed to quit. They studied each persons lung function and reported incidents of coughing, phlegm production, wheezing and shortness of breath as more criteria to compare. The people in the study were examined at the beginning and then again a year after.
Those who had quit or reduced the number of cigarettes being smoked did not have any improvement or change in the large airway function however those who stuck to using their ecig showed massive improvement in their small airway function. There was also a considerable improvement in cough frequency, phlegm production and shortness of breath in those who quit or reduced their smoking. No improvements were noticed for those that failed to quit and use their eCig and instead went back to just traditional analog smoking.
The American Association for Science and Health were quoted as saying “The study results suggest that completely abstaining from combustible cigarettes may benefit even healthy smokers reverse some subtle lung changes. In those struggling to quit smoking, even reducing exposure to daily cigarette smoke can have a measurable impact on quality of life.”
Overall this is positive news as it demonstrates some physiological improvements and benefits to quitting or even reducing your reliance on cigarettes in favour of electronic cigarettes.