Vaping and Asthma
Let me begin this piece by stating that I'm one of an estimated 25 million people in the US who suffers from asthma. As an asthmatic, being a smoker was a horrible experience. While many smokers experience shortness of breath and other difficulties with lung function, having asthma while being a smoker makes things considerably more difficult.
I knew continuing to smoke was making my asthma worse, but I ignored my symptoms until they became unbearable. My asthma wasn't the main reason why I quit smoking, but it was a major factor. After making the switch to vaping, I soon found it easier to breathe - this wasn't an overnight development, but as time passed I found breathing to be less of a burden. After vaping, I found I didn't have the same heaviness in my chest as I did when I used to smoke. I didn't have to sit and let my lungs clear out for a few minutes so that I could walk back to my room.
It turns out I'm not alone in this. Many smokers have found that vaping doesn't impact their asthma symptoms as much as cigarettes.
Research, Research, Research
Asthmatic smokers have reported improvement of symptoms following their reduction of cigarette use in exchange for e-cigarettes. To help solidify these testimonies, research was conducted to confirm results.
Participants in the study were selected from medical records of adult patients with asthma who reported being daily e-cig vapers. Trials lasted over a year, with researchers comparing vaping habits with respiratory issues. In this study, both smoking abstinence and dual-use (continuing to smoke while also vaping) was recorded.
Results showed that dual users typically experienced a great decrease in traditional cigarette consumption. The researchers concluded that while benefits have been found, they are typically long term benefits that occur after a long period of decrease or abstinence from tobacco cigarettes. Benefits include improvement in lung function and asthma symptom scores, which have been tracked through patient's' self-reported asthma symptoms at the clinic were research was conducted.
These findings are important because there are both asthmatic smokers who are struggling to quit or have little interest in quitting. Researchers note that this could be due to a contradiction between the addiction to nicotine, and the remitting nature of asthma. While personal testimonials are great, actual data found through research studies can be beneficial in swaying asthmatic smokers on the fence about the benefits of smoking cessation through vaping.
With the results of this study with previous retro-spective research, there's support for the notion that the harmful effects of smoking on asthmatic airways can be reversed. It's plausible that reducing the amount of pro-inflammatory effects of cigarette smoking on asthmatic respiratory systems by switching to e-cigs may be responsible for an overall improvement of lung function.
While switching to vaping has helped relieve my asthma symptoms brought on by years of cigarette use, don't take my word for it, check out the research! As always, it is best to consult with your doctor when making a health change. I am an advocate for lesser harm alternatives, but it is best to speak with a medical professional regarding your health.