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Background: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) first appeared on the U.S. market in 20071 , but to date, little is known about their safety. Concern about long term adverse effects on overall health continues to increase as we explore the potential of e-cigarettes to aid in smoking cessation practices. E-cigarettes have gained popularity and support through this idea that by using them to help patients quit smoking, the benefits of ultimately abstaining from tobacco use will outweigh the harms associated with e-cigarette use1 . While the idea of reducing tobacco usage by any means possible remains the goal for most providers, without clear-cut recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and supportive long term research and data analysis, providers are being forced to decide between the lesser of two evils. Objective: The purpose of this review is to explore current research that quantifiably measures the effect of e-cigarettes on pulmonary function. Methods: A PubMed search was performed using the MeSH terms “electronic nicotine delivery systems” or “vaping,” and “respiratory function tests,” and a Scopus search was performed using the terms “respiratory function test,” “electronic cigarette,” and “short-term.” Search results were then further stratified to exclude articles with non-human species (3 articles), nonhealthy subjects (4 articles), review articles (2 articles), and non-smokers (5 articles). Of the articles remaining, one article was excluded for being a single subject case study, and the rest were used for quantitative meta-analysis. Conclusion: The results of the 3 studies included in the meta-analysis revealed a lack of statistically significant changes in pulmonary function as demonstrated by FEV1 and FVC with the use of e-cigarettes vs. conventional cigarettes. Further well-designed long-term RCT’s are needed in order to elicit more conclusive evidence on the safety of e-cigarettes before formal recommendations can be made to patients regarding their use.
Bastianelli RV, Lynch KL. Short Term Effects of Electronic Cigarettes on Pulmonary Function in Healthy Adult Smokers When Compared to Conventional Cigarette Use. Posted online December 14, 2020.