Large study explores the long-term effects of vaping

A major international research study has been launched to look at the health effects of vaping - and only vaping. Smokers and ex-smokers are sidelined when comparing the potential health effects of e-cigarettes with not using nicotine or tobacco at all.  

"The Veritas Cohort study" is the name of the research project launched by the Coehar (Centre of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction) in Italy. The study is led by respiratory physician and professor of internal medicine Riccardo Polosa. He is considered the world's leading researcher in the field of electronic cigarettes, and since 2009 his research team has focused on the vapourisation and effects of e-cigarettes. Recently, the team recognised e-cigarette use in COPD patients.

Focus on non-smokers

The Veritas Cohort study will focus on the effects of vaping over time and will be Coehar's most ambitious project to date. It has already received over 400 participant applications from 27 different countries, and not a single ex-smoker among them. If they are, they will be screened out. That's the point: to further study the effects of vaping itself. This is relatively uncharted territory for research, as many vapers are former smokers whose health is likely to have been affected by chronic smoking. Therefore, people who have used e-cigarettes for at least three months will be compared to a control group of people who have not used nicotine or tobacco at all. 

- The primary goal of Veritas is to assess the long-term health impact of vaping by comparing data collected from vapers, smokers and non-vaders. "In just a few months, the project has received hundreds of requests and we are actively collecting and analysing the data," says Prof. Riccardo Polosa in a press release. 

Looking at health effects

Participants, who must be over 18 years old, will be asked to answer questions about their breathing habits, the products they use and in particular about perceived health effects - primarily concerning respiratory symptoms. Applications are ongoing and participants are being sought in two main groups.

* Individuals who have used e-cigarettes for at least three months and have never smoked, or have smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.

* People who have never used e-cigarettes, smoked or used any other tobacco products at all.

Sources for this article:
Link to 'Veritas Cohort Study'

"The Veritas Cohort study"

  • The main goal of the study is to find out how vaping affects health over time, by asking questions about health.
  • The study will focus on things like how often participants cough, how much phlegm they have, how easily they get breathless and how their chest sounds when they breathe.
  • The study will also look at other aspects of health and behaviour, and check if there are any problems or risks related to vaping or not vaping.
  • The study will also ask for details about vaping habits, such as when the participant started, how often they vape, what type of vapes they use, what flavours they like, why they vape and whether they use different types of vapes.

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