Anyone who wants to stop smoking tobacco should not try to do so with the help of electronic cigarettes. This is because they carry a significant health and relapse risk. This is the conclusion of a recommendation paper published by the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) and endorsed by the DZL and 13 other medical societies and organizations.
The physicians advise against the use of e-cigarettes because they are harmful to health and continue to be used permanently by most smokers who want to quit - in contrast to temporary nicotine replacement therapy with nicotine patches, for example, or the short-term use of addiction-inhibiting medications.
E-cigarettes damage the lungs and cardiovascular system
"Those who inhale pro-inflammatory, toxic substances and flavors through e-cigarettes risk ongoing damage to the bronchial tubes and lung tissue," says Professor Wolfram Windisch, deputy president of the DGP. "Smokers who are willing to quit and who have permanently narrowed airways due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or other lung diseases should especially not switch to e-cigarettes."
CPC-M research on e-cigarettes – funded by Balzan prize foundation
In an epidemiologic subproject, DZL-PI Stefan Karrasch (Munich University hospital) examined patterns of e-cigarette use and associations with conventional smoking as well as respiratory symptoms in subjects from the German National Cohort (GNC, NAKO Gesundheitsstudie). Information on e-cigarette use was available in more than 64.000 adults aged 20-75 years. The preliminary results: e-cigarette users were more likely to report respiratory symptoms, especially coughing, even when taking possible concomitant effects of conventional smoking into account.
The DZL-wide subprojects on e-cigarette use were funded by the Balzan Prize Foundation. Read more here.