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Long-term e-cigarette use shows no health concerns in young adults who never smoked tobacco

Long-term e-cigarette use shows no health concerns in

young adults who never smoked tobacco


Sydney, Australia – Friday, 24 November 2017: The first long-term study of daily e-cigarette use shows no health concerns in relatively young users who had never smoked tobacco, according to research being presented at the 2017 Congress of Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) in Sydney tomorrow.


International speaker and respiratory physician, Professor Riccardo Polosa, from the University of Catania (Italy) is one of the world’s leading researchers on e-cigarettes. The study found no significant health concerns with long-term e-cigarette use in young people.


The study, conducted in young-adult, never-smoking, daily e-cigarette users who were carefully followed for at least 3½ years by the research group lead by Prof. Riccardo Polosa at the University of Catania, shows:

·      no worsening in spirometry (i.e. lung function);

·      no development of respiratory symptoms;

·      no changes in markers of lung inflammation in exhaled air;

·      no signs of early lung damage on high resolution computed tomography (HRCT)


Even in the heaviest e-cigarette users (i.e. those with the highest e-liquid consumption and longest vaping history), there was no indication of emerging lung injury as reflected in these physiological, clinical, radiological and inflammatory measures. Moreover, no changes were noted in blood pressure or heart rate.


Professor Polosa says investigating prospective health changes in e-cigarette users who never previously smoked is clearly the major strength of the study. “It is reassuring to know that long term use with e-cigarettes is unlikely to cause any significant health concerns,” said Professor Polosa.


Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn, from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales said the results of the study were very encouraging.


While nothing is completely risk-free, this study provides further evidence that e-cigarettes are a much less harmful alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine but not the smoke from burning tobacco which causes most of the harm to health from smoking,” said Associate Professor Mendelsohn.


“Smokers who are not able to quit with conventional treatments who switch to e-cigarettes can expect substantial improvements in their health. E-cigarettes are a popular alternative to smoking which provide ‘a smoking experience’ without the deadly smoke. They have the potential to save the lives of thousands of Australian smokers,” said Associate Professor Mendelsohn.


Professor Polosa will be presenting his study on Friday 24, November at the APSR Conference in Sydney.




For further information, please contact:


Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn

School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales

0415 976 783


This research was supported by Catania University grant no. 21040100 of “Ricerca Scientifica Finanziata dall’Ateneo di Catania”.


Riccardo Polosa, MD

Riccardo Polosa is full-time employee of the University of Catania, Italy. In relation to his work in the area of tobacco control, R.P. has received lecture fees and research funding from Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of stop smoking medications. He has also served as a consultant for Pfizer, Global Health Alliance for treatment of tobacco dependence, ECITA (Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association, in the UK) and Health Diplomat (consulting company that delivers solutions to global health problems with special emphasis on harm minimization). Lectures fees from a number of European electronic cigarette industry and trade associations (including FIVAPE in France and FIESEL in Italy) were directly donated to vaper advocacy no-profit organizations. He is currently scientific advisor for LIAF, Lega Italiana Anti Fumo (Italian acronym for Italian Anti Smoking League) and Head of the European Technical Committee for standardization on “Requirements and test methods for emissions of electronic cigarettes” (CEN/TC 437; WG4).