Vaping improves asthma

Posted by Leslie Pretorius on

2-year vaping study shows vast respiratory improvements in asthma patients

Believe it or not, there are millions of people suffering with asthma who smoke, even though the disease itself already negatively affects the respiratory system.  In normal circumstances, a non-smoking asthmatic will experience a slow, gradual decline in consistent breathing functions.  But when the patient also smokes, the progression of the disease only escalates.

For decades, the medical community has firmly believed that the resulting damage to long tissue is essentially irreparable.  However, new research in the field of vaping and tobacco-free nicotine therapies is now giving asthma patients and their physicians new hope.  The peer-reviewed paper entitled Persisting long term benefits of smoking abstinence and reduction in asthmatic smokers who have switched to electronic cigarettes is now published in the medical journal Discovery Medicine.

Overview of the vaping and asthma study

For 2-years, scientists from the University of Catania in Italy followed the progress of eighteen asthmatics who also had a long history of daily smoking.  Led by a leader in vaping-related science, Dr. Riccardo Polosa and his team encouraged the participants to switch from smoking to vaping while measuring the related effects to various respiratory biomarkers including the following spirometry values.

  • FVC
  • FEV1
  • FEF25
  • FEF 50
  • FEF 75
  • PEF
  • FVC
  • ACQ
  • PC20
  • Hyper-responsiveness
  • Airway responsivity rates
  • Asthma control management rates
  • Asthma exacerbation rates
  • Comparative smoking vs. vaping daily rates
  • Cumulative respiratory and lung functions

Every 6-months, the Italian research team conducted scientific evaluations and observational studies related to the above-mentioned criteria.  At each interval, participants were also requested to complete a standard questionnaire documenting any related progress or digression pertaining to their asthma symptoms and overall general health.


All vapers were giving the same vaping device and e-liquid.  Participants who failed to make a complete transition from smoking to vaping were not immediately rejected from the clinical trial.  Instead, the Polosa team further tracked their progress and/or digression to be used as comparative data against the statistics acquired from the vaping-only group.  Of the original eighteen participants, two became dual users and another two individuals returned to smoking entirely. 

Of the vaping-only group, all participants experienced dramatic increases in respiratory functions within weeks of the commencement of the experiment.  Their progress only intensified as the 2-year project drew to completion.  Comparatively, the two dual users exhibited less progress than the vaping-only group while the two participants who relapsed back into smoking entirely exhibited a measurable and steady decrease in respiratory and spirometry functions over the two-years.

“The present study confirms that regular EC use ameliorates objective and subjective disease outcomes in asthma and shows that these beneficial effects may persist in the long term. Large controlled studies are now warranted to elucidate the emerging role of the e-vapor category for smoking cessation and/or reversal of harm in asthma patients who smoke. Nonetheless, the notion that substitution of conventional cigarettes with EC is unlikely to raise significant respiratory concerns, can improve counseling between physicians and their asthmatic patients who are using or intend to use ECs.”

One admitted drawback of the Italian vaping study is the small size of the associated control group.  However, Dr. Polosa makes clear in the paper’s conclusionary section that more research is planned for the near future involving an increased number and wider demographic of smoking asthmatic patients. 

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