Longitudinal association between e-cigarette use and respiratory symptoms among US adults: Findings from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study Waves 4–5

Emma Karey, Violet Shu Xu, Pan He, Raymond S. Niaura, Charles M. Cleland, Elizabeth R. Stevens, Scott Sherman, Omar El-Shahawy, Jennifer Cantrell, Nan Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background We assessed longitudinal effects of e-cigarette use on respiratory symptoms in a nationally representative sample of US adults by combustible tobacco smoking status. Methods We analyzed Waves 4–5 public-use data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. Study sample included adult respondents who reported no diagnosis of respiratory diseases at Wave 4, and completed Waves 4–5 surveys with no missing data on analytic variables (N = 15,291). Outcome was a validated index of functionally important respiratory symptoms based on 7 wheezing/cough questions (range 0–9). An index score of 2 was defined as having important respiratory symptoms. Weighted lagged logistic regression models were performed to examine the association between e-cigarette use status at Wave 4 (former/current vs. never use) and important respiratory symptoms at Wave 5 by combustible tobacco smoking status (i.e., never/former/current smokers), adjusting for Wave 4 respiratory symptom index, sociodemographic characteristics, secondhand smoke exposure, body mass index, and chronic disease. Results Among current combustible tobacco smokers, e-cigarette use was associated with increased odds of reporting important respiratory symptoms (former e-cigarette use: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07–1.81; current e-cigarette use: AOR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.17–2.06). Among former combustible tobacco smokers, former e-cigarette use (AOR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.06–2.15)—but not current e-cigarette use (AOR = 1.59, 95% CI: 0.91–2.78)—was associated with increased odds of important respiratory symptoms. Among never combustible tobacco smokers, no significant association was detected between e-cigarette use and important respiratory symptoms (former e-cigarette use: AOR = 1.62, 95% CI: 0.76–3.46; current e-cigarette use: AOR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.27–2.56). Conclusions The association between e-cigarette use and respiratory symptoms varied by combustible tobacco smoking status. Current combustible tobacco smokers who use e-cigarettes have an elevated risk of respiratory impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0299834
JournalPloS one
Volume19
Issue number2 February
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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