Asthma and Vaping: Study Shows Long-Term Benefits

Asthma and Vaping: Study Shows Long-Term Benefits


Making the switch from smoking to vaping has already gained attention for being beneficial for overall health, and a first-of-its-kind study specifically focused on how it can be particularly beneficial for smokers with asthma. Asthmatic smokers who reduced their tobacco intake by switching to vaping saw notable health improvements.


Study Details


The study, published in a February 2016 edition of Discovery Medicine, reviewed health issues related to asthma in 18 people who had previously participated in a previous asthma-related study. Researchers looked at issues such as:


  • Lung functioning
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Responsiveness of airways
  • Asthma control
  • Asthma exacerbation rates
  • Tobacco consumption


Measurements were recorded to set an initial baseline before the switch to vaping was made, and then taken again at follow-up visits at six months, one year, and two years later. Sixteen of the participants had switched from cigarettes to vaping completely; two of the participants had reduced their cigarette intake but continued to smoke while vaping.


Overall results found “significant and stable” improvements across multiple categories. Smokers with asthma who reduced cigarette consumption in favor of vaping showed improvements in lung functioning, respiratory symptoms, responsiveness of airways and asthma control. No changes in asthma exacerbation rates were noted.


Significance of Study Results


This study was the first of its kind to look at the long-term effects of switching from smoking to vaping for people with asthma. It confirmed that vaping can help reduce asthma related issues, with beneficial effects that may last for the long term. It likewise showed that vaping can actually reverse the harm from smoking in asthma patients who smoke.


As the study authors noted, the study results can be helpful for health care professionals when counseling patients with asthma who may be seeking information or an alternative to smoking.


Why It Matters


Perhaps the greatest takeaway from the study is that smokers with asthma, who know they should give up cigarettes for their health but simply cannot seem to quit, now have an alternative that can make a difference to their health. Rather than struggling through nicotine withdrawal symptoms, attempting to break the psychological hold, or otherwise fighting to break a harmful cigarette habit, they can instead replace it with a less harmful habit.


Asthmatic smokers are consistently increasing their risk of asthma-related issues while worsening the overall condition.  People with asthma who have smoked at least a pack a day for more than 20 years frequently suffer from the most severe asthma, typically with a rapid decline in lung function, increased airflow obstruction, and a decreased response to anti-asthma medications.


Smoking and Vaping Differences and Similarities


Smoking and vaping are completely different with regard to what’s being inhaled. Smoking involves lighting tobacco on fire and then inhaling a slate of dangerous chemicals. Vaping consists of heating a tobacco e-liquid to produce a vapor.


The ingredients in e-liquid typically include propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine and flavoring. Those who choose to vape a natural tobacco e-liquid, rather than one crafted using synthetic flavorings, colorings and additives, are not subjecting themselves to any additional chemicals.


Although smoking and vaping involve different methods, they are similar enough to make a seamless transition from the former to the latter. Both involve the hand-to-mouth motion, the oral fixation, and the delivery of nicotine. Vapers have the added benefit of gradually reducing nicotine levels if desired to gently wean the body off nicotine.


Vaping can serve as both a feasible and less harmful alternative to smoking, especially for those suffering from asthma who simply cannot seem to give up cigarettes. Not only can vaping satiate the urge, but it can provide a tobacco experience that’s more flavorful and acceptable in society.







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