What is Vaping?

V

aping refers to inhaling and exhaling aerosolized particles from an e-cigarette. An e-cigarette is an electronic device filled with a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized when the device is used.

Vaping was initially hailed as an important innovation. It was believed smokers could use e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco. This would reduce exposure to nicotine, tar, and other hazardous substances.

What’s more, many smokers considered vaping soothing, giving them “something to do with their hands” and a way to react in stressful situations where they would usually smoke. Some people succeeded in using vaping as a stepping stone to quit smoking.

With that said, the long term effects of vaping have not been fully studied. While many individuals view vaping as a step in the right direction to eliminate smoking, more research needs to be compiled on the effects it can have on individuals and society as a whole.

What Conditions is Vaping Associated With?

The unique condition associated with vaping is referred by the new medical acronym EVALI.

It stands for E-Cigarette or Vaping Associated Lung Injury.

As of October 22, 2019, 34 known deaths were associated with EVALI. The median age of victims was 45 and 59% of them were men.

In total, nearly 2,300 cases of EVALI were reported to the CDC by November 20, 2019. All 50 states have been affected except Alaska.

Samples of lung tissue taken from victims have tested positive for high amounts of vitamin E acetate, a toxin in some vaping products. Vitamin E acetate is believed to be safe when used in nutritional supplements or skincare products, but not when ingested.

Lung damage caused by EVALI can cause symptoms similar to pneumonia. Damage to the lungs makes it difficult for the body to take in oxygen and distribute it throughout the body.

EVALI is distinct from, but related to, bronchiolitis obliterans – also known as popcorn lung. This is an inflammatory condition that affects the tiniest airways within the lungs. Inflammation can lead to scarring that blocks airways, causing coughing and shortness of breath.

What Research Currently Exists Around Vaping?

The association between vaping and EVALI is already an established scientific fact. However, it is not yet clear exactly what risk factors contribute to the development of EVALI.

Current research focuses on finding a definitive answer for what chemicals or other factors may be responsible for EVALI. This will help the medical community understand why some e-cigarette enthusiasts are affected and others are not, paving the way for effective treatment.

Why Are Further Vaping Clinical Trials Important?

Vaping clinical trials will be essential to the long-term health and quality of life of those affected by EVALI or popcorn lung. Evidence of disease has been found in teens as well as elderly adults.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment capable of reversing the lung damage caused by EVALI. As with other pervasive lung disorders, such as COPD, therapies are likely to focus on preserving healthy lung function.

Current Vaping Clinical Trials

This is the current list of active vaping clinical trials on record with ClinicalTrials.gov.

Patients are advised to watch this space carefully, since new clinical resources for vaping health are being developed rapidly.

  • Research and Innovation to Stop E-cigarette/Vaping in Young Adults
    on July 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Nicotine Dependence;   E-Cig UseInterventions:   Drug: Nicotine patch;   Behavioral: Phone Counseling;   Behavioral: Digital CoachingSponsors:   Ohio State University;   American Heart Association;   Optum, Inc.Recruiting

  • Impact of E-cigarette Use on the Body
    on July 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Cigarette Smoking-Related CarcinomaInterventions:   Procedure: Biospecimen Collection;   Procedure: Nitric Oxide Breath Test;   Procedure: Oscillometry;   Procedure: Spirometry;   Other: Survey Administration;   Procedure: Endothelial functionSponsor:   Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer CenterRecruiting

  • Goal2QuitVaping for Nicotine Vaping Cessation Among Adolescents
    on July 6, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Depressive Symptoms;   Depression;   Adolescent BehaviorInterventions:   Behavioral: Behavioral Activation Therapy app;   Behavioral: Treatment as UsualSponsors:   Medical University of South Carolina;   National Institutes of Health (NIH);   National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)Recruiting

  • Quit Smoking Study for People Who Use E-Cigarettes
    on July 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Nicotine Addiction;   E-Cig Use;   Quitting SmokingInterventions:   Drug: Nicotine replacement therapy patch;   Drug: Nicotine replacement therapy lozenge;   Behavioral: Quit electronic cigarettes;   Behavioral: Continue electronic cigarettesSponsor:   University of VermontRecruiting

  • Graphic Messages to Prevent E-Cigarette Use Among Black and Latino Adolescents
    on May 25, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   VapingInterventions:   Behavioral: Financial reward graphic message;   Behavioral: Health reward graphic message;   Behavioral: Self-efficacy graphic message;   Behavioral: Social norms graphic messageSponsors:   University of Rochester;   National Cancer Institute (NCI)Recruiting

  • Acute Effects of Vaping Nicotine on Cognition in Young Adults
    on May 25, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Nicotine Addiction;   VapingInterventions:   Drug: Nicotine pod;   Drug: Placebo podSponsor:   Yale UniversityRecruiting

  • Quit Nicotine: E-Cig Cessation Intervention
    on May 24, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   E-Cig UseInterventions:   Behavioral: Remote Contingency Management (CM) for nicotine abstinence;   Other: ControlSponsors:   Yale University;   American Heart AssociationRecruiting

  • Menthol and Mint Experimental Tobacco Marketplace (ETM) Study
    on May 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Cigarette Smoking;   VapingInterventions:   Behavioral: Tobacco e-liquids;   Behavioral: Menthol and Tobacco e-liquids;   Behavioral: Mint, Menthol and Tobacco e-liquids;   Behavioral: All e-liquid flavorsSponsor:   Wake Forest University Health SciencesRecruiting

  • Digital Media for Cancer Control (to Prevent Vaping and Smoking Behavior)
    on April 30, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Tobacco UseIntervention:   Behavioral: Anti-vaping and anti-smoking digital advertisingSponsors:   George Washington University;   National Institutes of Health (NIH)Recruiting

  • Middle School Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to Evaluate E-Cigarette Prevention Program: CATCH My Breath
    on April 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   E-cigarette UseInterventions:   Behavioral: CATCH My Breath (CMB) program for E-cigarette prevention among adolescents;   Behavioral: Texas Education Agency (TEA) required tobacco prevention programSponsors:   The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston;   National Cancer Institute (NCI)Recruiting

  • Impact of Vaping Prevention Advertisements
    on April 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   VapingInterventions:   Behavioral: The FDA's The REal Cost vaping prevention ads - Health harms theme;   Behavioral: The FDA's The Real Cost vaping prevention ads - Addiction theme;   Behavioral: Neutral vaping adsSponsors:   UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center;   National Institutes of Health (NIH);   Food and Drug Administration (FDA);   National Cancer Institute (NCI)Recruiting

  • Secondhand Effects of E-Hookah Aerosol
    on December 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Hookah Smoking;   Secondhand Aerosol;   Vascular Stiffness;   VapingInterventions:   Other: e-hookah aerosol;   Other: clean airSponsor:   University of California, Los AngelesRecruiting

Conclusion

It is not yet known whether EVALI represents a widespread health risk that could affect millions of users or is isolated to certain products or practices. Whatever the case, thousands of people face severe health effects right now.

Today’s vaping clinical trials will be essential to the health of former and future e-cigarette users. Being aware of the potential risks of vaping – and making family and friends aware of those risks – is advisable as more information becomes available.