Long-term study: E-cigarettes linked to chronic lung diseases

A recent study by the University of California shows people who use e-cigarettes are at a greater risk of developing chronic lung diseases -- including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.

Researchers say this is the first long-term study linking e-cigarettes to respiratory illnesses. The study included 32,000 adults in the U.S.

Researchers say the study shows alarming risks for dual users, a person using both e-cigarettes and tobacco products. Dual users risk of developing chronic lung diseases more than tripled, the study found.

Current and former e-cigarette users are 1.3 times more likely to develop a lung disease. Tobacco users are 2.6 times more likely to develop a lung disease.

Jacksonville City Councilman Ron Salem said he is not surprised by the results of the study.

“As a pharmacist, I have tried to have a healthcare emphasis on the council and this is an issue that has popped up,” Salem said.

In September, Salem asked city leaders to include vaping in its opioid task force.

“Roughly one third of our teenagers are using these products routinely,” Salem said. “I’ve had some discussions with the mayor on ways we might combat this on a local level.”

Salem said the City of Jacksonville is expected to make an announcement regarding vaping and the opioid task force should be expected in early 2020.

According to the Florida Department of Health, a second person in the state has died due to complications from e-cigarette use. In early December, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 2,300 cases of vaping-related illnesses and 48 deaths.

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