A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health indicates that asthmatic smokers who use e-cigarettes experience an improvement in their asthma symptoms and lung function, even if they remain dual users, according to a leading health expert.
The study (See: Polosa R, et al. “Effect of smoking abstinence and reduction in asthmatic smokers switching to electronic cigarettes: evidence for harm reversal.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2014; doi:10.3390/ijerph110504965.) was the subject of a blog by Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health.
“The study examined 18 smokers with significant asthma who switched to electronic cigarettes,” said Siegel. “Ten of the patients switched completely and eight became dual users (both smoking and using e-cigarettes). Among the dual users, the average cigarette consumption dropped from 22.4 to 3.9 cigarettes per day.
“After one year follow-up, both the ex-smokers and dual users experienced a significant improvement in asthma symptoms and lung function, especially small airways obstruction. Although the improvements in lung function were small, the improvements in asthma symptoms were clinically relevant.”
Siegel said that while the study was preliminary because of the small sample size, it demonstrated that for smokers who were unable to quit smoking using traditional therapies, the use of e-cigarettes might be a viable alternative to help them quit or substantially cut down and might result in improved respiratory health symptoms.