Electronic Cigarettes, Vaping, and Lung Disease: A Short Primer

Main Article Content

Max Deschner
Marcel Tunks
Cory Yamashita

Abstract


In recent years there has been a proliferation in the practice of vaping to consume nicotine-and cannabis-based products. While evidence on the benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is evolving, this brief primer highlights important new information about vaping for clinicians, researchers and the public. In 2018, the Canadian government passed legislation to regulate tobacco and vaping products. We discuss evidence comparing e-cigarettes versus nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation and highlight limitations of this body of research. While e-cigarettes are felt to contain fewer toxins than cigarettes, the long-term effects of vaping remain unknown. Emerging data demonstrates associations between vaping and acute and chronic lung disease. We discuss the emergence of an outbreak of severe lung injury associated with e-cigarette use in the United States and similar cases in Canada. Finally, we review evidence demonstrating the growing prevalence of vaping and smoking amongst Canadian youth.


RESUME
Ces dernières années, on a assisté à une prolifération de la pratique de la vaporisation pour consommer des produits à base de nicotine et de cannabis. Alors que les preuves sur les avantages et les risques des cigarettes électroniques (e-cigarettes) évoluent, ce bref aperçu met en lumière de nouvelles informations importantes sur le vaping pour les cliniciens, les chercheurs et le public. En 2018, le gouvernement canadien a adopté une loi pour réglementer les produits du tabac et les produits à base de vapeur. Nous examinons les données comparant les e-cigarettes et les thérapies de remplacement de la nicotine pour le sevrage tabagique et soulignons les limites de ce corpus de recherche. Bien que l’on estime que les e-cigarettes contiennent moins de toxines que les cigarettes, les effets à long terme des vapeurs restent inconnus. Les données émergentes démontrent des associations entre l’inhalation de vapeurs et les maladies pulmonaires aiguës et chroniques. Nous discutons de l’émergence d’une épidémie de lésions pulmonaires graves associées à l’utilisation des e-cigarettes aux États-Unis et de cas similaires au Canada. Enfin, nous passons en revue les preuves démontrant la prévalence croissante des vapeurs et du tabagisme chez les jeunes Canadiens.

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