HealthDay News — Former and current electronic cigarette use is associated with higher odds of developing wheezing-related respiratory symptoms, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Wubin Xie, DrPH, from the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues assessed whether e-cigarette use is associated with the development of respiratory symptoms in young adults. The analysis included young adult participants (aged 18 to 24 years at baseline) in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study Waves 2 (2014-2015), 3 (2015-2016), 4 (2016-2018), and 5 (2018-2019).

The researchers found that former e-cigarette use was associated with higher odds of developing any respiratory symptom (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.20), as well as wheezing in the chest (aOR, 1.41). Similar associations were seen for current e-cigarette use and higher odds for any respiratory symptom (aOR, 1.32) and wheezing in the chest (aOR, 1.51). These associations persisted even among participants who never smoked combustible cigarettes.

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“The present study finds a significant prospective association of vaping with subsequent respiratory symptom development in a large, nationally representative cohort of young adults with no previous history of respiratory symptoms,” a coauthor said in a statement. “This evidence highlights an urgent public health imperative for more robust regulatory standards at all levels of government to stop the youth vaping epidemic in its tracks.”

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