Vaping and Inflammatory Lung Disease - Continued

By Katharine Paljug @kpaljug
January 03, 2018

Inflammatory lung disease

Inflammatory lung disease is chronic condition in which the airways become inflamed, swollen, and irritated, causing recurring difficulty breathing.

Inflammatory lung diseases can impair everyday activities, lead to a lower quality of life, and in some cases contribute to early death. They are caused by environmental and genetic factors.

There are several types of inflammatory lung disease, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis.

Vaping and COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Exposure to pollutants and chemicals in the environment can contribute to COPD, particularly tobacco smoke.

Animal studies have shown that vaping can cause features of COPD in mice, and adolescents who smoke electronic cigarettes have higher rates of chronic bronchitis, a form of COPD.

These studies are not enough to conclusively prove that vaping causes COPD, and some research indicates that switching from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes reduces harm in smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Vaping does, however, seem linked to changes in the lungs that play a role in the development of COPD.

Vaping and asthma    

Asthma is one of the most common long-term inflammatory lung diseases in children, and it can continue to affect your lungs into adulthood.

The exact causes of asthma are unknown, and there is a strong genetic component, as having a close family member with asthma increases the likelihood that you will have it, too.

Smoking does not appear to cause asthma, but it does reduce your lung function, which can exacerbate asthma symptoms and increase the likelihood of asthma attacks. Doctors have long warned asthma patients to avoid smoking traditional cigarettes.

Similarly, research does not suggest that vaping causes asthma. However, like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes seem to worsen asthma symptoms. A study of students with asthma found that smoking e-cigarettes was associated with missing more school days due to asthma symptoms.





April 01, 2020

Reviewed By:  

Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA