Study finds cigarette smokers who switch to vaping don’t see decreased health risks

Published: May 6, 2022 5:48 PM EDT
Updated: May 6, 2022 5:59 PM EDT

A study to determine if e-cigarettes were less damaging than traditional cigarettes produced interesting results. No health benefits were found when e-cigarette use was compared to traditional cigarettes.

This new study looked at 24,000 adults in the United States and found that combined usage didn’t have a health benefit. This is important since some used e-cigarettes because they thought it wasn’t as bad as cigarettes. This study found it didn’t make a difference in terms of risk for heart disease or stroke.

Experts say vaping and smoking are equally bad in different ways.

“E-cigarettes are different from cigarettes in that it heats up the filament to vaporize the nicotine and bring it into your lungs,” Dr. Shyam Kapadia a pulmonologist & critical care physician at Lee Health says. “Whereas cigarettes in general, have a few more harmful particles in them such as tar, and the paper itself, which can lodge into your lungs.”

Dr. Kapadia hears people using e-cigarettes as a bridge to quit smoking. Although, the data doesn’t support that or the use of e-cigarettes as an attempt to lessen the health impact associated with cigarettes.

“They’re not generally safer. There are recent studies that suggested that the likelihood of you quitting smoking by starting an e-cigarette is much lower than we once expected,” Dr. Kapadia said.

The interchangeable use of smoking and vaping is most common in people under age 35. They face equal risk of heart attack or stroke than if they lit up exclusively.

The takeaway is that there is no ‘best’ method of inhaling nicotine. The heart association updated its annual report, stating nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States each year, are related to smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke.