Blue hole new consumer report, news on January 11, according to foreign reports, researchers have warned that exposure to second-hand nicotine from e-cigarettes can double the risk of bronchitis in young people, but two leading British experts say this question.
E-cigarette use has become more popular in recent years — but little is known about the possible health effects of second-hand exposure to the vapors emitted by these devices.
It's associated with an increased risk of coughing, asthma and shortness of breath in young adults who don't smoke or vape, a new study finds.
Scientists say the findings could be part of a compelling case to ban e-cigarettes and other vaping devices in public places.
But British experts questioned the findings, saying there was insufficient evidence to link second-hand vaping and breathing problems.
A team from the University of California analyzed information provided by more than 2,000 participants in the Southern California Children's Health Study.
The study collected detailed annual information on respiratory health, active and secondhand nicotine e-cigarettes, and traditional tobacco and marijuana smoke exposure in households since 2014.
Participants with an average age of 17 were followed for five years until 2019.
The researchers recorded whether the children had symptoms of bronchitis -- such as coughing every morning for three months, congestion unrelated to a cold, or had bronchitis -- whether they reported wheezing and whether they experienced shortness of breath.
The results, published in the journal Chest, showed that those who were exposed to secondhand nicotine as a result of vaping -- and did not smoke or vape themselves -- were more than twice as likely to report wheezing than those who were not exposed. .
They were also three times more likely to report symptoms of bronchitis and three times more likely to report shortness of breath.
Participants who were exposed to secondhand nicotine e-cigarettes in any study year were also more likely to actively use tobacco or marijuana products themselves or to have been exposed to secondhand smoke.
The researchers said their study was observational, meaning they could not say for sure that exposure to secondhand nicotine while vaping increased the likelihood of developing symptoms.
But if this can be proven in further research, a ban on vaping in public places would make sense, they said.
"This study is the first to describe the negative effects of secondhand nicotine e-cigarette exposure on respiratory symptoms," they wrote.
"If causal, reducing second-hand e-cigarette exposure at home would reduce the burden of respiratory symptoms and provide a compelling case for regulating e-cigarette use in public places."
"Ultimately, this is a public health issue that - if left unaddressed - has the potential to negatively impact our population, including those most vulnerable."
But British experts questioned the study's findings. One of the problems, said Professor Peter Hayek, director of tobacco dependence research at Queen Mary University of London, was that most of the participants were smokers themselves.
"One problem with viewing this association as causation is that almost all of the participants smoked or vaped and/or lived with people who also smoked (208 of 223)," he said.
"Surprisingly, no data were provided on the association between respiratory questionnaires and smoking."
There is also no evidence that e-cigarettes and second-hand vapor from vaping pose a public health risk, he added.
"While the health risks of e-cigarettes to e-cigarette users themselves are estimated to be as high as 5% of the health risks of smoking, the health risks to bystanders are likely to be much, if not completely, reduced," he said.
"This is because e-cigarettes themselves do not release chemicals into the environment, only what the user exhales, and so far it has not been shown that this exhalation produces any toxic substances that could affect the health of bystanders. "
Professor Lion Shaba, an expert in health psychology at the University of London, said the findings of the study were worrying and warranted further investigation.
However, he added that the study did not take into account several factors that could have affected the results.
"For example, the measurement of exposure was limited to young people's households and did not include exposures that might occur outside the household, for example, during social interactions with friends, nor did the study control for housing type or measure socioeconomic status," he said.
“Further, own use of the product was not assessed as a lifetime measure, but was limited to use within the past 30 days. Respiratory symptoms persisted even one month after stopping product use, preferably on a longer time frame Evaluate your own use of the product.”
The findings come as the NHS may soon be prescribing e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, part of a radical plan to reduce smoking rates in the UK.
Regulators have issued updated guidance paving the way for vaping products to be licensed for medicinal use by smokers who want to quit smoking and switch to vaping.
The move could make England the first country in the world to prescribe a licensed e-cigarette for medicinal use, which is currently used by around 3.6 million adults.