HealthDay News — Current use of electronic cigarettes is an independent risk factor for respiratory disease, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Dharma N. Bhatta, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, conducted a longitudinal analysis of the adult Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Waves 1, 2, and 3. The correlation between e-cigarette use and respiratory disease was examined, while controlling for combustible tobacco smoking, demographics, and clinical variables.

The researchers found that among those who did not report respiratory disease at wave 1, there were statistically significant associations between former e-cigarette use and current e-cigarette use at wave 1 and having incident respiratory disease at waves 2 and 3 (adjusted odds ratios, 1.31 and 1.29, for former and current e-cigarette use, respectively). There was also a significant association for current combustible tobacco smoking with respiratory disease at waves 2 and 3 (adjusted odds ratio, 2.56). For dual users (e-cigarette and combustible tobacco), the odds of developing respiratory disease were 3.30 compared with never smokers who never used e-cigarettes.

“Although switching from combustible tobacco, including cigarettes, to e-cigarettes theoretically could reduce the risk of developing respiratory disease, current evidence indicates a high prevalence of dual use, which is associated with increased risk beyond combustible tobacco use,” the authors write.

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