E-cigarettes deliver an aerosol of nicotine by heating a liquid and are promoted as an alternative to combustible tobacco. This study determines the longitudinal associations between e-cigarette use and respiratory disease controlling for combustible tobacco use.
This was a longitudinal analysis of the adult Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Waves 1, 2, and 3. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine the associations between e-cigarette use and respiratory disease, controlling for combustible tobacco smoking, demographic, and clinical variables. Data were collected in 2013–2016 and analyzed in 2018–2019.
Among people who did not report respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma) at Wave 1, the longitudinal analysis revealed statistically significant associations between former e-cigarette use (AOR=1.31, 95% CI=1.07, 1.60) and current e-cigarette use (AOR=1.29, 95% CI=1.03, 1.61) at Wave 1 and having incident respiratory disease at Waves 2 or 3, controlling for combustible tobacco smoking, demographic, and clinical variables. Current combustible tobacco smoking (AOR=2.56, 95% CI=1.92, 3.41) was also significantly associated with having respiratory disease at Waves 2 or 3. Odds of developing respiratory disease for a current dual user (e-cigarette and all combustible tobacco) were 3.30 compared with a never smoker who never used e-cigarettes. Analysis controlling for cigarette smoking alone yielded similar results.
Use of e-cigarettes is an independent risk factor for respiratory disease in addition to combustible tobacco smoking. Dual use, the most common use pattern, is riskier than using either product alone.
© 2019 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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