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E-cigarettes impose detrimental effects on health

Presented by
Dr Linnea Hedman, Umeå University, Sweden
NLC 2022
The use of e-cigarettes – which contain harmful substances – is more common in the younger population. Older users are most likely tobacco smokers and, in this population, e-cigarette use is not associated with successful smoking cessation. Furthermore, the use of e-cigarettes is linked to respiratory symptoms and other detrimental health effects.

Dr Linnea Hedman (Umeå University, Sweden) discussed the new tobacco and nicotine products that have become widely available over recent years. She pointed out that the e-liquid used in e-cigarettes consists of various components such as propylene glycol, glycerine, nicotine, flavour components, and other additives, such as preservatives. The aerosol content may include formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, diacetyl, and various metals, all of which impose detrimental (often carcinogenic) health effects in users [1–5]. “The use of e-cigarettes has a generally low prevalence in Sweden,” Dr Hedman said. “It is most common in individuals aged 16 to 44 years [6]. These products are also openly aimed at children and young individuals as they come in colourful containers and attractive flavours such as fruit, mint, and candy.” Although the use of e-cigarettes is often presented as a method to support smoking cessation of ‘ordinary’ tobacco products and may be perceived as less harmful, recent meta-analyses show an association between e-cigarette use and asthma and COPD diagnosis: for asthma, the pooled adjusted odds ratio was 1.39 (95% CI 1.28–1.51) and for COPD 1.49 (95% CI 1.36–1.65) [7,8].

  1. Goniewicz ML, et al. Tob Control. 2014 Mar;23(2):133-139.
  2. Williams M, et al. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e57987.
  3. Pankow JF, et al. PLoS One. 2017 Mar 8;12(3):e0173055.
  4. Eshragain E, et al. Tob Prev Cessation. 2021;7(February):10.
  5. Taylor A, et al. Drug Test Anal. 2021 Feb;13(2):242-260.
  6. Public Health Agency Sweden.
  7. Wills TA, et al. Eur Resp J. 2021;57:1901815.
  8. Hedman L. Who are the e-cigarette users and what are the pulmonary effects of e-cigarette vaping? Nordic Lung Congress 2022, 01–03 June, Copenhagen, Denmark.


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