Latest vape-related studies

Posted 20th November 2017 by Dave Cross
Four studies connected to electronic cigarette uses stand out this week: The first looks at E-cigarette use in patients with COPD. The next claims it has discovered vape-related embryo defects in the laboratory. The third analyses vaping among individuals with a self-reported eating disorder. The last, by Konstantinos Farsalinos, fails to reproduce the ridiculous aldehyde findings of other studies.

COPD Study

Ricardo Polosa was involved in the important COPD study, which gives a fair indication of its findings. “COPD is a condition that may result in respiratory symptoms, progressive decline in lung function, respiratory failure, and death,” they write, emphasizing the urgency with which sufferers need to quit smoking.

The team state: “The emerging clinical evidence suggests that [vaping is] unlikely to raise significant health concerns under normal condition of use, even in smokers with preexisting lung disease.” They conclude that vaping is beneficial to COPD sufferers and urge clinical practitioners to use all the tools at their disposal, including ecigs, in order to get sufferers away from smoking as soon as possible.

Embryo Defects

A team from the Virginia Commonwealth University carried out a study looking at the impact of vape aerosol on frog embryos. Their conclusions don’t make for palatable reading: “In this study we hypothesize that the effects of the ECIG aerosols on [frog embryo] development are translatable to human embryos. Specifically, we believe that when a pregnant women vapes, the foetus would be exposed to a similar concentration of chemicals as [frog embryos] treated with e-cigs.”

There are a number of caveats to their findings – the leading one being that they used 3.5-second draws on a 1.6Ω coil, which would indicate a high possibility of dry burning. Secondly, vapour deposited into a liquid medium doesn’t replicate a mother vaping. And thirdly, frog embryos aren’t human embryos.

Eating Disorders

The primary aim of this study was to examine whether vaping is more commonly used as a weight loss technique among American adults who claim they have an eating disorder. 7,395 people applied to take part in the study but only 611 were eligible.

From the research, the team discovered evidence of a link between reported disorders, a liking for the sweet flavours and a desire to vape in order to control weight. In fact, these people were four times more likely to vape daily than people who didn’t report having an eating disorder.

Aldehyde Results Can’t Be Replicated

Finally, Dr Farsalinos reports that the team behind  “hidden formaldehyde” research letter managed to secure $3.5 million for further research. They’d gained press coverage for the salacious claims that vaping is up to 15 times more carcinogenic than smoking.

He writes: “Few days ago, we published a replication study, using exactly the same e-cigarette devices, batteries and liquid as the research letter above. However, we asked vapers to try the device (a very old CE4 atomizer, tested in 0.2 V increments) and report dry puffs when detected.”

Unsurprisingly, it was impossible to repeat the initial findings once dry burning was eliminated.

Frog study image from the authors via open access article.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker