Research debunks claims that second-hand vaping increases asthma attacks

Be careful of the bogus “study” surfacing on social media claiming that second-hand vapor increases asthma attacks. It’s bogus, and Dr. Polosa has already proven the opposite in 2016.
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Research debunks claims that second-hand vaping increases asthma attacks

A recent study spreading across social media is making misleading claims that the second-hand vapor from electronic cigarettes increases the chances of asthma attacks, particularly in children.  The study is basing its conclusions solely on self-reported statistics rather than evidentiary scientific data.  This means that the “study” is not really a study at all.  It’s basically just a survey whose results are essentially meaningless from a scientific viewpoint. 

The research led by Jennifer E Bayley of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities in Bethesda, Maryland, reviews data published by the 2016 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey.  By evaluating the responses of some 11,830 child participants between the ages of 11 and 17 years, Bayley’s team of analysts determined that 21 percent of the surveyed respondents reported to have had an asthma attack at least once in the prior 12-months.  Of that 21 percent, one-third further claimed that they had been exposed to second-hand vapor within the same timeframe.

The trouble with the Maryland study

These alarmingly ambiguous statistics are deceptive on many levels.  Firstly, the document does not make clear if the children were being exposed to the e-cig vapor at the alleged times of the asthmatic attacks.  Secondly, the researchers do not discuss how often the children were exposed to the second-hand vapor, in general.  Where they exposed to vaping on a daily basis or only once within the 12-month threshold?  

Related Article:  Study shows switching to vaping reduces plaque buildup, improves bleeding gums

Thirdly, nowhere in the paper do the researchers identify how many of the surveyed participants have actually been officially diagnosed with asthma.  And finally, since the study’s data is not derived from controlled-experiments, it’s impossible to use the resulting statistics as a basis for reputable scientific evidence.

Fortunately, a more reputable, peer-reviewed paper published in 2016 already debunks Ms.  Bayley’s outlandish claims.  The 2016 study conducted by Professor Riccardo Polosa of the University of Catania, Italy, not only refutes the bogus Maryland paper, but it even suggests that switching to vaping can vastly improve respiratory functions in asthmatic smokers. 

Polosa research indicates switching to vaping may be helpful for asthmatic smokers

The 2016 Polosa study is entitled Persisting long term benefits of smoking abstinence and reduction in asthmatic smokers who have switched to electronic cigarettes.  It is still published in several professional medical journals including Discovery Medicine.  The Polosa team begins by selecting a small control group consisting of adult smokers previously diagnosed with asthma. Each of the participants was asked to switch from vaping to smoking for a full 24-months.

Meanwhile, the scientists would periodically evaluate several biomarkers and respiratory functions of each participant periodically throughout the 2-year trial. Various asthma-related symptoms and respiratory functions were carefully monitored and documented, including but not limited to the following areas.

  • Overall breathing quality and respiratory functions
  • Airways ratings of hyper-responsivity
  • Severity and frequency of asthma attacks
  • PC20 and ACQ levels

Dual usage of combustible tobacco and vaping products was not allowed. In fact, when the scientists discovered that one individual had engaged in dual-use, the participant was ejected from the clinical trial.  Two others were also ejected after relapsing back to smoking entirely.   

“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.”

What the scientists determined is that adult asthmatics smokers who switch to vaping experienced considerable progress in respiratory functions as their occurrences of asthma attacks and other related symptoms gradually declined.  They also discovered that the two participants who reverted back to smoking full-time witnessed a steady deterioration of their methacholine PC20 and ACQ scores compared to the vaping-only group.  Due to the success of the 2016 study, Dr. Polosa and his team of scientists are planning to conduct additional research in the coming years involving larger control groups of participants.

Related Article:  Cold and flu season: Vaping chamomile may be the perfect, natural remedy

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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Study shows switching to vaping reduces plaque buildup, improves bleeding gums

The anti-vaping community spends an enormous amount of time and energy trying to convince the general public that vaping is just as harmful as smoking.   They tend to quote outlandish figures of perceived rises in teen vaping as an excuse to ban flavored vapor products or to severely limit their access. However, they intentionally ignore the well-documented statistics offered by federal public health agencies like the CDC that smoking rates across every demographic in the nation are simultaneously plummeting.

This constant bombardment of facts and figures can be downright confusing for the average person to understand, whether they vape or not.  But a recently published study makes an easy argument that everyone can get behind.  Switching to vaping improves oral health.

Overview of the oral health vaping study

A research team led by Dr. Marco Tatullo from the Unit of Periodontology and Oral Hygiene of the Calabrodental Clinic in Crotone, Italy, asked 350 regular smokers to voluntarily switch to vaping for 120-days.    The researchers looked for changes in “several specific oral parameters” like bleeding gums, plaque building, staining of the teeth, and tooth loss.  They would also be monitoring for possible progression or digression in several forms of periodontal disease, including mouth cancer, gingivitis, and bacterial infections.  The related oral biomarkers were evaluated are regular intervals.

Related Article:  Vaping for only 2 weeks reduces carcinogens by 64%, says research

The 350 participants were chosen based and divided into two classifications based on their prior histories of smoking.  Group 1 was comprised of daily smokers with histories of less than 10-years of combustible tobacco consumption.  Group 2 consisted of participants with smoking histories above the 10-year threshold. 

Participants were not allowed to engage in the smoking of tobacco products during the 120-period when switching to vaping.  They could not even engage in dual use.  Of the original 350 participants, 110 were successful in completing the study.  However, when all was said and done, the Italian scientists uncovered some rather remarkable data.

  • Bleeding gums
    • On Day 1 of the clinical trial, a whopping 61% of Group 1 participants and 65% of Group 2 participants displayed signs of bleeding gums when gently probed with a standard dentist’s instrument.
    • On Day 120, those percentages improved dramatically. Only 2% of Group 1 and 8% of Group 2 showed signs of bleeding gums under the same probative conditions.
  • Plaque Index levels
    • On Day 1 of the clinical trial, 85% of Group 1 participants scored plaque index levels of approximately 33%. Only 15% scored a near-zero rating. 
    • By Day 120, approximately 92% of Group 1 boasted a zero-plaque index score.
    • For Group 2, about 73% scored a mid-range rating of about 50% plaque index on Day 1. The remaining 27% scored even higher.  No one in Group 2 rated a zero-plaque index score at the beginning of the study.
    • After switching to vaping for 120-days, an astonishing 87% of Group 2 participants scored a zero-plaque index rating.

The researchers also presented a questionnaire to all participants in each group at the end of the experiment.  The questions addressed issues related to general physical health (as opposed to oral health).  About 7 in 10 rated their general health either “better” or “quite better.”  About 80% witnessed noticeable differences in the abilities to taste and smell.  And another 78% even claimed to see vast improvements in their respiratory functions.  The complete findings are compiled into a paper entitled Crosstalk between oral and general health status in e-smokers (NCBI). 

“In our role of highly experienced physicians in the field of oral medicine, we want to highlight how the switching from combustible to e-cigarette can represent a valid support toward a clear improvement in some specific oral health parameters, leading also to overall benefits toward patients’ wellbeing.”

The dental and medical communities have known for decades that poor oral health is more prevalent in smokers versus non-smokers.  The Italian study is one of the very first to evaluate the effects of daily vaping as compared to smoking.

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(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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Cold and flu season: Vaping chamomile may be the perfect, natural remedy

It’s cold and flu season once again, and everyone knows that drinking a hot, steaming cup of chamomile tea helps relieve those nasty symptoms of coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and sore throats. A hot beverage infused with this seemingly miraculous dry herb even provides a more restful night’s sleep, which in turn, helps relieve those uncomfortable aches and pains.  But what if drinking tea is not really your thing?  Science suggest that maybe you should consider vaping your chamomile instead.

Vaping chamomile give a boost to the immune system.

As far back as 2005, the American Chemical Society (ACS) published a report in the online journal Science Daily entitled Chamomile Tea: New Evidence Supports Health Benefits.  The ACS claims that eating and drinking foods high in chamomile cause the human body to produce more phenolics, glycine, and hippurates which have a direct effect on the immune system.  In fact, the research indicates that drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis even prevents reoccurrences of the cold and flu and their related symptoms.

Vaping chamomile acts as an anti-inflammatory for aches and pains.

Another positive side effect that chamomile has on the human body is its unique ability to boost the production of certain prostaglandins, according to the Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry (JAC).  Scientists believe that when production of this hormone-like chemical is reduced, perhaps through catching a cold or the flu, the body’s capabilities of fighting off the associated pain and inflammation of muscle tissue are proportionally diminished.  Vaping chamomile e-liquids high in these anti-inflammatories can help relieve these uncomfortable symptoms and the often-related poor night’s sleep that can so often jeopardize a speedy recovery.

Related Article:   Vaping and asthma: The powerful punch of peppermint

Vaping chamomile has antibacterial properties, too.

Research also indicates that chamomile products are high in antioxidants which protect the body from the damage caused by overexposure to free radicals.  Contrary to popular misconceptions, free radical damage is not necessarily derived from an overexposure to the sun.  Although chamomile’s antioxidant properties are highly effective in healing sunburn, they are also quite effective in helping the body to thwart off other free radicals and infectious bacteria that can prolong a cold or flu.  Reversing the effects of free radical damage may also give the complexion a healthier glow while preventing premature aging and even the creation of new wrinkles. 

Vaping chamomile is high in antioxidants useful in cancer prevention.

According to Heartline, there are several scientific studies which indicate that the high antioxidant properties of chamomile may help lower the health risks associated with skin cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and several other varieties.  It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, prevents bone loss, and aids in the relief of chemotherapy-related vomiting and nausea.  These claims are further supported by a more recent 2015 study involving thyroid cancer entitled The effect of Greek herbal tea consumption on thyroid cancer: a case-control study published in NCBI

Related Article: What are the medical advantages of vaping St. John’s Wort for depression?

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