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Historic 3.5-year study shows no adverse health effects of vaping

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In what may be the very first scientific study of its kind, scientists claim that no negative health impacts are detectable even after 3.5-years of vaping. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Catania Center for Tobacco Research in Italy, led by the world-class scientist Dr. Riccardo Polosa.

The research team began by selecting a small group of 21 volunteers. Nine of the participants were classified as never-smokers/daily vapers. The other twelve were classified as never smokers/never vapers for the entire 3.5 years. The report entitled Health impact of E-cigarettes: a prospective 3.5-year study of regular daily users who have never smoked is located on the medical journal Nature.

Overview of the Polosa vaping study

Throughout the years-long vaping study, the scientists measured predetermined biomarkers of each of the participants from both groups. Polosa specifically wanted to choose younger volunteers for a variety of reasons, perhaps most significantly because anti-vaping activists often claim that teen vaping is on the rise.

  • The average age of each of the “daily vapers” was 29.7 years.
  • Biomarkers monitored include the following:
    • Blood Pressure (BP)
    • Heart Rate (HR)
    • Respiratory and lung functions
    • Nitric Acid and Carbon Monoxide Levels exhaled
    • Possible health issues related to lung and respiratory diseases, including:
      • Bronchiolitis Obliterans (“Popcorn Lung”)
      • Lipoid Pneumonia
      • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
      • And numerous others
  • HRCT Scanning of the lungs via for more extensive analysis

Even with such a small control group of volunteers (or perhaps because of it), several of the participants did not successfully complete the study involving 3.5 years of vaping. Of the never-vaping/never smoking group, three did not complete the study for varying reasons. Three of the “daily vapers” were also excluded for not properly following the rules of the study, and an additional four participants did not meet the basic minimum health standards. However, of the daily vapers who remained, the scientists detected no adverse health effects of any kind in the multitude of biomarkers measured.

“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.”

In the conclusions section of the paper, Dr. Polosa openly admits that the study is in need of a larger sample group of participants. But the research team wanted to start out small, and they hope that this first longitudinal vaping study will only lead to more research in this field in the future. 

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