Research from Massachusetts General Hospital reveals that people who use both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes are more likely to develop respiratory symptoms compared to those using either one alone
The researchers analysed 20,882 individuals aged 12+ years in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study and found that they had no respiratory symptoms when surveyed in 2015-2016.
However, respiratory symptoms were reported by 10.7% of those who did not use e-cigarettes or tobacco cigarettes, 11.8% of exclusive e-cigarette users, 17.1% of exclusive tobacco smokers and 19.7% of those who both vaped e-cigarettes and smoked tobacco cigarettes when they were surveyed one year later.
Those who used both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes had a 1.9-times higher odds of developing respiratory symptoms compared with exclusive e-cigarette users and a 1.24-times higher odds compared with exclusive tobacco smokers.
“To help people quit smoking, FDA-approved medications, such as the nicotine patch or the medication varenicline, are preferred,” says lead author Krishna Reddy, MD, MS, an investigator in MGH’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and the MGH Tobacco Research and Treatment Center.
“People who vape e-cigarettes in an effort to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes should be cautioned against using both and instead should switch over completely from smoking to vaping, with an ultimate goal of stopping vaping as well.”
Senior author Nancy Rigotti, MD, director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center, adds: “This study helps identify how e-cigarettes can best be used to reduce the harms caused by smoking cigarettes. Exclusive e-cigarette use did not increase the risk of new respiratory symptoms while using both products (e-cigarettes and cigarettes) did.”
The findings have been published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.