People trying to quit smoking frequently use e-cigarettes to help them stop. Often they then become dual users of both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes. They may consider this a ‘success’ in terms of reducing their health risk, but a recent study from researchers at the University of California found this belief to be mistaken.
The researchers analyzed data from almost 40,000 participants in an ongoing online longitudinal study of heart health. The study asked the participants about different health concerns including breathing difficulties, chest pain, a number of specific cardiovascular problems, COPD, asthma, hypertension, sleep apnea.
Among the participants 1,693 were cigarette smokers only and 514 reported that they used both e-cigarettes and smoked cigarettes. Compared with cigarettes only, dual use was associated with worse scores for general health and similar scores for breathing difficulties, chest pain, cardiovascular problems, COPD and asthma. The “dual users” actually reported smoking more regular cigarettes than the cigarette only smokers.
The conclusion is that dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes does not reduce health risks. Stopping both e-cigarettes and cigarettes is the healthy choice.
Mike Burke, Ed.D