Vaping and COPD
The COPD Foundation joins with the Centers for Disease Control and our patient advocacy partners in expressing concern over the growing reports of acute vaping related disease and in urging people to refrain from using electronic cigarette or vaping devices. The Administration’s recent announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will move forward with plans to remove non-tobacco flavored electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) from the market is a positive step towards addressing the worrisome youth e-cigarette trend, however more must be done to research and regulate the use of e-cigarettes to protect the public’s health.
Smoking causes 480,000 deaths per year. Reducing the burden of tobacco-related illness and death remains a critical public health priority and one the COPD Foundation cares deeply about. We recognize that many individuals with COPD struggle to quit tobacco use, the most important action to prevent further decline of lung function. However, there is little conclusive evidence that e-cigarette use is an effective smoking cessation tool in the short term and over the long term. There is also no data that clearly shows the long-term effects of e-cigarette on the lungs.
Nicotine is a potent drug and e-cigarettes contain countless additives such as flavor enhancers and other often unknown chemicals. The COPD Foundation strongly supports comprehensive and immediate action from the FDA to prevent further harm, including finalizing regulations to ensure the prompt removal of flavored e-cigarettes from the market and other actions outlined in the August 2016 “deeming rule” placing all electronic nicotine devices under FDA’s oversight.
We implore those who are using traditional or electronic cigarettes to contact their healthcare professionals for the evidence-based treatment and support that can help them successfully quit tobacco use safely and for good. Those who are seeking additional information on the ongoing investigation into vaping related illnesses and what is known about e-cigarette use should visit the CDC’s frequently updated information at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html.