Can you Vape if you have Asthma? 

Will vaping make asthma worse?

Becky Spencer-Davies, 04/04/2019 

I

f you are someone who has smoked, despite having asthma, then you might be looking to quit smoking. When looking into quit smoking methods you might consider patches, going cold turkey, hypnosis, gum or vaping. But can you vape if you have asthma?

What is vaping, is it safer than smoking? 

Public Health England declared that vaping is 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. When you vape you inhale a vapour created from heated
e-juice. This is flavoured and can contain nicotine in various strengths which you select depending on how much you smoked. Vaping allows you to keep up the habit of smoking without the cancer causing chemicals found in tobacco. If you have asthma and smoke you may find that your symptoms worsen.

Can you vape if you have asthma? 

If you have tried other means of quitting smoking to no avail then you could consider vaping. However, you need to be aware that asthma can be sensitive to vaping, as well as environmental things including pollen and cold air. If vaping irritates your asthma then it is advisable to seek another way to quit smoking.

We have known asthmatics who have quit tobacco, moved onto e-cigarettes and managed to stop using their preventer and rarely use their inhaler.

We asked an asthmatic to share his experience of smoking and moving on to vaping, to eventually quitting both. Here is what he said about how smoking affected his asthma:

“Smoking made my asthma much worse. I got wheezy a lot sometimes just from walking around. Also I found when I got a cold I would get awful chesty coughs which also made me super wheezy with my asthma. Never had that again since quitting cigarettes. I was an idiot for smoking."

We then asked about vaping and whether that was better.

“I vaped for 4 years and it wasn’t so bad for aggravating my asthma symptoms but I never did the big lung filling, cloud chase vaping. I vaped like it was a fag with small throat hits. I did have a problem with menthol liquid which made me wheezy. My inhaler use dropped significantly compared to when I was smoking.”

We asked how his asthma management has been since quitting vaping.

“I’ve been off the vape 4 months now and my asthma management is about the same. Unfortunately though I still have symptoms but only when running or climbing 5 flights of stairs.”

Is passive vaping dangerous to those with asthma?

We know that second hand tobacco smoke can cause damage to the lungs of bystanders. For those with asthma it can potentially trigger an asthma attack. While Public Health England’s review 2018 found that there were no identified health risks of passive vaping, it could be possible that vapour may trigger asthma symptoms. However, it is a case by case basis, some people can tolerate it, whereas others cannot. Be courteous to those around you if you are vaping.

Asthma UK is calling on more research for the long-term effects of vaping to make sure that they are safe for asthmatics. 

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