Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of incurable inflammatory lung diseases that cause diminished lung function and result in breathing difficulties. Sadly, the primary cause of COPD is smoking and therefore patients are naturally advised to quit cigarettes in order to slow the disease progression.

As with most smokers, despite suffering from the condition, many find it difficult to abstain from cigarettes, which contributes to the worsening of their condition. With this in mind award winning Prof. Polosa and his team, undertook a three-year study of 48 COPD patients who smoke combustible cigarettes and/or e-cigarettes, with the aim of analyzing any differences in their lung function and quality of life.

The researchers did this in two ways: “1) they tracked changes from the baseline period within groups (e-cigarette users or combustible cigarette smokers) and compared the trajectory of symptom progression across time (from baseline to 36 months for those who used e-cigarettes and those who did not); and 2) they evaluated differences between groups of patients who exclusively use combustible cigarettes and those who use e-cigarettes (exclusively or as dual users) over the course of three years.”

Switching from smoking to vaping

In line with earlier findings, the study titled “Health effects in COPD smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes: a retrospective-prospective 3-year follow-up”, indicated that COPD patients reported improved respiratory symptoms after switching from combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes, reporting favorable outcomes. Meanwhile those who continued to smoke, experienced no change in either measure of disease severity.

“The present study suggests that EC use may ameliorate objective and subjective COPD outcomes and that the benefits gained may persist long-term. EC use may reverse some of the harm resulting from tobacco smoking in COPD patients,” concluded the study Abstract.

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