Dr. Riccardo Polosa, MD, PhD, who is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of clinical bronchoprovocation (airway-challenge studies), is also author of more than 250 peer reviewed articles and books mainly covering respiratory medicine, clinical immunology, and tobacco addiction. He is also actively working to study and promote the benefits of e-cigarettes as effective smoking cessation tools, and safer alternatives to their combustible counterparts.
Improvements were noticed within six months
Polosa’s study subjects naturally reduced their cigarette consumption since they had taken up vaping. Naturally this reduction led to substantial health improvements, “In asthmatic patients, we observed significant and stable improvements in respiratory symptoms, disease exacerbation rates and lung function already after 6 months of regular e-cigarette use, and persisting for up to 2 years.”
He added by pointing out that in patients with high blood pressure, a reduction in systolic and diastolic BP was observed within six months of switching to vaping. When asked for details about how vaping may be contributing to this drop, and whether it’s just a direct effect of the decrease in smoking, the professor replied that aside from it being directly caused by the decrease in smoking, it is also attributed to the “the ritualistic and behavioural components associated with vaping”.
Additionally a positive aspect of quitting smoking via vaping is that this alleviates the anxiety and hypertension normally caused by abstinence.
Another important factor is that switching to vaping rather than quitting cold turkey has led to these patients not gaining the weight that is normally associated with curbing the habit. One could argue that this could be tied to the fact that they are still obtaining nicotine and the chemical has been found to play a significant role in weight control. Dr. Polosa pointed out that a healthy weight in turn leads to the maintenance of a healthy blood pressure.
Progress also noted in dual users
When asked why he picked these two conditions as an area of research, Dr. Polosa said that this was an obvious choice since he is responsible for several cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory outpatient clinics, hence these patients were easy to follow and monitor.
Where will the research go from here?
Professor Polosa ended the interview by pointing out that now they will be moving on to studying the effects of vaping on patients suffering from COPD, (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ), and diabetes. The medical director said that in his opinion the other areas worth exploring are those of chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and psychological illnesses, and concluded by expressing an interesting viewpoint, “Also, vaping should be re-evaluated in the light of its potential for administration of medical products with much improved adherence.”
Via Ashtray blog