E-Cigarette Use After Smoking May Up Risk for Lung Cancer

Findings seen for both lung cancer and associated death, regardless of years since quitting
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Former cigarette smokers who use electronic cigarettes may have a higher risk for lung cancer than those who do not vape, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2024 International Conference, held from May 17 to 22 in San Diego.

Yeon Wook Kim, M.D., from the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in South Korea, and colleagues examined lung cancer risk and related mortality associated with smoking habit changes to e-cigarette use among those who smoked conventional cigarettes. The analysis included 4.3 million individuals with a conventional smoking history who participated in the National Health Screening Program from 2012 to 2014, with follow-up through 2021.

The researchers found that compared with ex-smokers with five or more years since quitting (YSQ) without e-cigarette use, those with e-cigarette use had an increased risk for lung cancer-specific death (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.69). Similarly, ex-smokers with fewer than five YSQ with e-cigarette use had a higher risk for lung cancer development (aHR, 1.23) and lung cancer-specific death (aHR, 1.71) versus those without e-cigarette use. Among individuals aged 50 to 80 years with a smoking history of ≥20 pack-years, ex-smokers with five or more YSQ and e-cigarette use had a higher risk for lung cancer (aHR, 1.65) and lung cancer-specific death (aHR, 4.46) versus those without e-cigarette use.

"Our results indicate that when integrating smoking cessation interventions to reduce lung cancer risk, the potential harms of using e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking must be considered," Kim said in a statement.


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