More difficult through a mask! –
June 25, 2020 – The study is the world’s first comparison of the effects of the three forms of smoking and vaping on human health and the function of cells that line blood vessels (the endothelium). It provides an overview of the available evidence about the harmful chemicals produced and the mechanisms by which smoking and vaping affect the body. The researchers also looked at the effects of each on medical conditions ranging from stroke to heart attacks and lung cancer.
The researchers found there were multiple good studies showing that, overall, tobacco cigarettes were more harmful than e-cigarettes. However, there were few good, large studies about the adverse effects of waterpipes (often referred to as hookahs, shisha or narghile) and e-cigarettes on endothelial dysfunction and so the evidence was more variable. The researchers say the long-term effects of water pipes and e-cigarettes need to be investigated more thoroughly. In the meantime, they write, “waterpipe smoking is not less harmful than tobacco smoking and thus cannot be considered a healthy alternative”.
The researchers reviewed a range of studies, which they graded as providing strong, good or medium levels of evidence on the harmfulness of the three types of smoking and vaping . Compared to non-smokers, tobacco cigarettes increased the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by 704% (good level of evidence), waterpipes by 218% (strong) and e-cigarettes by 194% (good); tobacco cigarettes and waterpipes increased the risk of lung cancer by 1210% (strong) and 122% (strong) respectively, while the level of evidence for e-cigarettes was not sufficient to draw reliable conclusions.