Polosa’s “No Negative Harms” Findings

Posted 9th December 2017 by Dave Cross
Dr. Riccardo Polosa led a team of researchers from the University of Catania in looking at the effects of heavy vaping on never-smokers. The results were published in the Nature journal and announced to an audience at the fifth annual E-Cigarette Summit: the team found “no impact”.

The gateway theory has been roundly debunked, the opposition claim teens are attracted to flavours yet fail to produce evidence of it happening, and Wales worried about renormalisation of smoking…but even if that nonsense was true, what would be the impact of vaping on non-smokers who have never smoked?

This was the reasoning behind Polosa’s study, and his cohort looked at 9 “never-smoked” vapers for three and a half years.  For comparison, the team included 12 lifetime non-smokers and non-vapers.

“In spite of previous health scares, our study shows for the first time no risk in long-term vapers who have never smoked in their lives” - Polosa

They measured lung function, heart rate, blood pressure, exhaled breath nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, plus taking high resolution computerised tomography scans of the lungs.

The team concluded: “In a small sample of young-adult never-smoking, daily EC users who were carefully followed for approximately 3½ years, we found no decrements in spirometric indices, development of respiratory symptoms, changes in markers of lung inflammation in exhaled air or findings of early lung damage on HRCT, when compared with a carefully matched group of never-smoking non-EC users.”

“Even the heaviest EC users failed to exhibit any evidence of emerging lung injury as reflected in these physiologic, clinical or inflammatory measures. Moreover, no changes were noted in blood pressure or heart rate. Since the EC users who we studied were never smokers, potential confounding by inhalation of combustion products of tobacco were obviated.”


Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association: “Mouse and cell studies may generate salacious headlines about the supposed dangers of vaping, but they are no replacement for actual studies on humans. If no negative health impacts can be seen from daily vaping among those who previously did not smoke, how is it ethical to continue warning smokers away from using these products?”

In noting that the study was small, and calling for a repeated large scale follow-up, the investigators stated: “the results of this study may provide some preliminary evidence that long-term use of electronic cigarettes is unlikely to raise significant health concerns in relatively young users.”

In addition, Polosa has also been involved with a new study looking at vaping with patients diagnosed with COPD, where the authors state: “For many smokers, the optimal outcome may be a long-term swapping to vaping.”

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