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Effects of passive vaping in COPD patients

Presented by
Prof. Torben Sigsgaard, Aarhus University, Denmark
NLC 2022
The results from a Danish study point out that exposure to passive vaping from e-cigarettes may induce an acute systemic and airway inflammatory response in COPD patients. This calls for more research to elucidate the impact of passive vaping.

Prof. Torben Sigsgaard (Aarhus University, Denmark) presented the outcomes of a study which aimed to examine acute health effects of passive exposure to aerosol generated by e-cigarettes in individuals with COPD under controlled conditions. The hypothesis was that exposure to passive vaping is associated with inflammation and self-reported respiratory symptoms. This study had a randomised, double-blind, controlled, cross-over design in which participants were exposed to either passive vaping or clean air for 4 hours with a wash-out period of 14 days, followed by a second exposure (4 hours) to either clean air or passive vaping. A total of 16 COPD patients were included of whom 6 women and 10 men. All were former smokers with a mean age of 67.6 years. The study had some limitations, Prof. Sigsgaard explained: “In the first place, a low power due to the relatively small sample size, but also the vapers used in the study, which resulted in an overall low exposure to the aerosols with a substantial variability and the fact that it was not a real-life simulation, including absence of mixtures of substances with synergistic effects, and repeated exposures.” Prof. Sigsgaard emphasised that effective public policies posing restrictive measures on the use of e-cigarettes are very much needed. “Regulatory measures should include prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes at least to the extent that conventional cigarettes are prohibited: hence not allowed in public places. Also, the use of e-cigarettes should be avoided in close proximity to vulnerable populations [1].”

  1. Sigsgaard T. Passive vaping in COPD patients. Nordic Lung Congress 2022, 01–03 June, Copenhagen, Denmark.


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