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Minerva Pediatrica 2020 Jul 20

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.20.05973-3


language: English

Potential effects of E-cigarettes and vaping in pediatric asthma

Maria DI CICCO 1, 2 , Margherita SEPICH 2, Vincenzo RAGAZZO 3, Diego G. PERONI 1,2, Pasquale COMBERIATI 1,2

1 Pediatrics Unit, Pisa University Hospital, Pisa, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; 3 Pediatrics and Neonatology Division, Women’s and Children’s Health Department, Versilia
Hospital, Lido di Camaiore, Lucca, Italy


INTRODUCTION: Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood and exposure to tobacco smoke has been long recognized as a risk factor for its onset as well as for exacerbations and poor disease control. Since the early 2000s, electronic cigarettes have been marketed worldwide as a non-harmful electronic alternative to combustible cigarettes and as a device likely to help stop smoking, and their use is continuously rising, particularly among adolescents. However, several studies have shown that vape contains many different well-known toxicants, causing significant cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory effects on the airways in-vitro and in animal models. In humans, a variety of harmful lung effects related to vaping, ranging from bronchoconstriction to severe respiratory distress has been already reported.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: To investigate the potential effects of vaping in pediatric asthma, we searched relevant published studies in the MEDLINE/PubMed database by combining the adequate Medical Subject Headings terms and keywords.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: At the end of our study selection process, 5 cross-sectional studies focusing on electronic cigarettes use in adolescents and self-reported asthma and/or other respiratory symptoms, 1 study focusing on the effects of electronic cigarettes second-hand exposure and 1 case report were retrieved. These preliminary data support a likely detrimental effect of vaping in asthmatic adolescents.
CONCLUSIONS: Currently available evidence supports that electronic cigarettes are a potential threat to respiratory health, particularly in adolescents with asthma. High-quality studies on larger population assessing the long-term effects of vape exposure, are urgently needed.

KEY WORDS: E-cigarette; Electronic cigarette; Smoking; Asthma; Children

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