Two large observational studies have shown a correlation between the use of electronic cigarettes and various cognitive disorders, including memory problems and mental fog.
A significant correlation
Although teenage tobacco use has declined considerably in recent decades, electronic cigarette use has experienced a real explosion in recent years. So much so that the US Minister of Health called it ” national scourge In 2018. While the possibility that e-cigarettes are a gateway to traditional smoking is still widely debated, scientists continue to study the long-term effects of e-cigarettes on health.
Examining data from two large population surveys, researchers at theRochester University found a correlation between specific cognitive problems reported by patients and electronic cigarettes, both in adults and adolescents.
Published in the journal Tobacco Induced Diseases, the first study involved analyzing data from more than 18,000 American high school students. It turned out that adolescents who smoked tobacco or used e-cigarettes more regularly reported difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions. This association was even more marked in subjects who started vaping early: e-cigarette users aged 8 to 13 were the most likely to report cognitive impairment.
The second study, published in the journal PLOS One, for its part looked at the data of a vast telephone survey of more than 800,000 adults, called Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and carried out over a period of two years. Once again, researchers have shown a correlation between electronic cigarettes and cognitive problems. It turned out that traditional smokers and e-cigarette users did indeed report this type of disorder at a similarly higher frequency than non-smokers, which was found to be even higher in mixed users (tobacco and vaping). ).
Researchers advocate for longitudinal study and earlier prevention programs
Obviously, correlation does not mean a cause and effect link, and there is nothing for the moment to confirm that the use of electronic cigarettes is directly at the origin of the cognitive disorders declared by the subjects, which could potentially be underlying. According to the scientists, who recall that the use of electronic cigarettes is relatively recent, which means that its long-term effects on health are still poorly understood, the only way to fully understand this relationship is to conduct a longitudinal study detailed.
“ Our work adds to the growing evidence that vaping, while less harmful than traditional cigarettes, should not be considered a safe alternative to smoking. », Note Dongmei li, who oversaw both studies. ” The recent increase in the use of electronic cigarettes among adolescents is particularly worrying, and highlights the need to intervene even earlier, with prevention programs put in place before college or high school.. “