As of 2019, there hasn’t been a wide variety of studies regarding vaping and the long-term impact on lungs and overall health. The effects of habitually inhaling and exhaling vapor are not yet known or fully understood, and studies focusing primarily on adult lung-health have yet to be conducted – until now.
Northwestern University at Chicago has been awarded a $24.8 million grant to examine the long-term effects of e-cigarettes and how they relate to chronic lung disease. The University of Alabama at Birmingham will operate as the study’s headquarters.
The study is called “The American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort.” The grant is awarded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and it’s a first of its kind to execute a longitudinal survey on the long-term effects of vaping and other environmental factors.
The project will recruit 4000 adults aged 25 to 35 from metropolitan cities around the U.S. with the purpose of defining lung health and detect early stages of chronic lung disease.
This baseline will contain detailed assessments of environmental, occupational, and socio-behavioral exposures which will be thoroughly examined with the goal of capturing early symptoms that could lead to future lung and respiratory diseases.
Potential risk factors will be further examined, and hypotheses will be tested regarding these factors, including air pollution, marijuana, and vaping. The main hypotheses will test if vaping exposure leads to impaired lung health.
The study hopes to gather information which can help doctors detect early chronic lung disease. Study subjects are a mixed group of vapers and non-vapers from different parts of the country. The project will also follow the subjects for the next 6 years and provide thorough assessments.
They will track environment, physical activity, and other lifestyle activities that affect lung and respiratory health. Other trackers will examine their living situation and habits like drinking, smoking, vaping, etc.
Serious lung diseases begin with small discomfort, and the data which uncovers who is more likely to develop chronic lung diseases remains unclear—serious illnesses such as chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease, fibrosis, emphysema, etc.
Chronic lung disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. No need to overstate the seriousness of this issue, especially if we vape regularly, it is good to be armed with the right information.