A new five-year study led by tobacco harm advocate and award-winning Professor Riccardo Polosa of the University of Catania's Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine has found that switching from smoking to vaping may have long-term benefits for smokers suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow in the lungs and is estimated to affect between 10 to 15 per cent of smokers.
"The most important finding of the study is that COPD patients can abstain from smoking cigarettes indefinitely if suitable substitution is available," Dr Polosa told Filter. "E-cigarettes can be a massive remedy for COPD and this is important for physicians, patients and their caregivers. The study confirms that 'harm reversal' is achievable and that it can be maintained for years. We are telling the world that substantial health gains are within reach when substituting deadly tobacco cigarettes for vaping products."
What Is COPD?
COPD is an umbrella term for a group of progressive lung conditions that block airflow, of which chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the most common. Symptoms of COPD include difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and mucus production. Smoking tobacco is the leading cause of COPD.
Does Vaping Make COPD Worse?
The study is essentially a continuation of a prior study in which the study's authors examined the impact that switching to vaping had on smokers with COPD after three years. Two years later, the study's authors have returned to release the results of this latest study, their five-year follow-up. First, let's take a look at the results of the initial 3-year follow-up that this latest study expands upon.
Vaping's Benefits After 3-Years
The original study followed 48 COPD patients over the course of three years and broke them down into two groups, smokers with COPD who had switched to vaping and a control group made up of smokers who continued to smoke. By the time the three-year follow-up was conducted, only 44 of the patients remained in the study.
The three-year follow-up found that smokers who had switched to e-cigarettes reported improvements in their respiratory symptoms while those that continued to smoke reported no change.
Vaping's Benefits After 5-Years
Two years later in the five-year follow-up, researchers found that the study participants who had switched to vaping continued to experience improvements in their health. These participants reported a roughly 50 per cent reduction in flare-ups as well as improvement to cardiorespiratory health, ability to exercise, and quality of life.
While the initial three-year follow-up included 44 participants, only 39 participants remained at the time the five-year follow-up was conducted. Four of the participants that were not included in the latest dataset were rejected by the study after they relapsed back to cigarettes.
Implications For Older Smokers With COPD
The study's participants had an average age of about 65 years old.
According to Dr Annie Kleykamp, a tobacco harm reduction expert and research associate professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, the study's findings give "support to the idea that older smokers switching to e-cigarettes can improve their health and potentially slow the effects of COPD."
Ready To Make The Switch?
If you're a smoker who is ready to make the switch over to vaping, you will find everything that you need to make the switch right here at Vaper Empire. Our online vape store carries everything you need to vape instead of smoke. We stock a wide range of premium e-cigarette kits, vape juices, and accessories. Our TPD compliant vape juice is made to EU standards inside of state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities and we offer all of our vape juice flavours in a variety of different nicotine strengths.
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