Effects of Smoking Electronic Cigarettes on Pulmonary Function and Environmental Parameters
Luca Coppeta*, Andrea Magrini, Antonio Pietroiusti, Stefano Perrone, Mario Grana
Occupational Health Service, University of Rome, Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, 00133, Roma, Italy
Our study aims to evaluate whether the active use of the electronic cigarette (e-cig) can determine adverse effects on the respiratory function of healthy workers and whether potentially dangerous pollutants are released in the air.
Thirty healthy workers (seventeen men and thirteen women, age range 27-37) were included in the study. Immediately before and after a 5-minute smoking session performed in two different days (first-day e-cig, second-day tobacco cigarette [t-cig]), they underwent spirometry evaluation. Furthermore, environmental particle monitoring was performed during the experimental procedure (i.e. before, during and after active smoking).
Our study showed slight reductions in the main pulmonary function data both after active e-cig and t-cig smoking. Changes in the main respiratory parameters were significantly different than baseline after 1 minute from e-cigarette smoking (3,95 vs 3,91 lt for FEV:P=0,03; 0,84 vs 0,83 for FEV1/FVC ratio:P=0,008; 4,23 vs 3,99 lt/min for FEF25-75%: P=0,03) but not after 15 minutes from active e-cigarette smoking, whereas after t-cig smoking, there was a significant drop in the 15 min value of FEV1(P=, FEF25-75% (P=0.01) and the FEV1/FVC ratio (P=0.007).
Regarding environmental exposure, the e-cig smoking was associated with the transient release of particles with a diameter < 1 micron which dropped to baseline after 5 minutes, whereas in the case of t-cig, the particles persisted for 60 min.
In this study, the active use of e-cig for a short time caused similar, although less pronounced effects as tobacco smoke on the pulmonary function. Similarly, the particles released in the environment had lower concentration and persistence than those of t-cig. These data suggest that e-cig may potentially be dangerous for active smokers and the environment. Long-term studies seem warranted to discover the health effects of active and passive exposure to e-cig.
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* Address correspondence to the author at the Occupational Health Service, University of Rome, Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, 00133, Roma, Italy; Tel: +39(6)20902201; E-mail: email@example.com