Vaping and Your Health: What studies are saying

Research on the health effects of vaping is a rapidly evolving field, and findings can vary depending on the specific substances being studied, the methodology used, and other factors. Here’s an overview of what recent studies have been saying about vaping and its potential impact on health:

1. Harm Reduction:

  • Public Health England (PHE): PHE has stated that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes. They support vape turn carts as a harm reduction tool for smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking through other means.

2. Smoking Cessation:

  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM): NASEM’s comprehensive review concluded that there is substantial evidence to suggest that e-cigarette use can help adult smokers quit or reduce their cigarette smoking.

3. Respiratory Health:

  • Long-Term Effects: Some studies have suggested that long-term vaping may be associated with respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. However, the extent to which these symptoms are directly caused by vaping remains unclear.

4. Cardiovascular Health:

  • Acute Effects: Short-term exposure to e-cigarette aerosol has been shown to increase heart rate, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness in some studies. However, the long-term cardiovascular effects of vaping are still not well understood.

5. Youth and Adolescents:

  • Gateway Effect: There is evidence to suggest that vaping may act as a gateway to cigarette smoking among youth and adolescents, although the extent of this effect is debated. Some studies have found that young people who vape are more likely to start smoking cigarettes later on.

6. Chemical Exposure:

  • Toxicants: Studies have detected potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarette aerosol, including volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and flavoring chemicals. While these levels are generally lower than those found in cigarette smoke, their long-term health effects are still a subject of ongoing research.

7. Lung Injury:

  • EVALI: In 2019, a nationwide outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) occurred in the United States. Most cases were linked to the use of THC-containing vaping products obtained from informal sources, rather than nicotine-based e-cigarettes.

8. Dual Use:

  • Dual Use: Some studies have found that a significant proportion of e-cigarette users continue to smoke traditional cigarettes concurrently, a behavior known as dual use. Dual use may mitigate some of the potential health benefits of vaping as a smoking cessation aid.


While vaping may offer harm reduction benefits for adult smokers looking to quit, there are still concerns about its potential health risks, particularly among youth and non-smokers. More research is needed to fully understand the long-term health effects of vaping and to inform public health policies and regulations surrounding e-cigarette use. It’s important for individuals to make informed decisions about vaping based on the available evidence and to prioritize their overall health and well-being.

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