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Global study zeroes in on vaping’s respiratory risks amongst exclusive e-cigarette users

The worldwide cross-sectional VERITAS survey involving six different regions throughout the world has been designed by a team of international scientists to exclusively explore the impact of vaping on respiratory health.



Study: Global health survey of people that vape and never smoked. Protocol for the Vaping Effects: Real-world InTernAtional Surveillance (VERITAS) Study. Image Credit: Latest Africa / Shutterstock.com

*Necessary notice: Preprints publishes preliminary scientific reports that aren’t peer-reviewed and, subsequently, mustn’t be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Background

Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated electronic devices that vaporize nicotine for inhalation. As a result of their non-combustion mode of motion, e-cigarettes don’t produce smoke, which causes many individuals to perceive e-cigarettes as a lless harmful alternative to standard tobacco cigarettes.

Along with nicotine, e-cigarettes contain quite a lot of chemicals, including flavoring agents. Current evidence indicates that these chemicals, together with nicotine, might need harmful effects on respiratory health.

Thus far, most studies investigating the long-term health effects of vaping have included individuals with a history of smoking. This makes it difficult to distinguish the actual health effects of vaping from those attributable to previous smoking habits.

The present global cross-sectional study has been designed to explore the long-term respiratory health effects of frequent vaping. Self-reported respiratory symptoms of never smokers who vape each day will probably be compared with those and not using a history of smoking, vaping, or using another nicotine products.

Study design

The present multi-country cross-sectional survey plans to initially screen interested candidates for his or her eligibility through an internet survey. This will probably be followed by a telephone or email-based conversation with potential participants to substantiate their eligibility for the ultimate survey.

After final screening, the chosen participants will probably be subjected to a web- or mobile-based survey for data collection. After successful completion of the survey, participants will probably be supplied with an Amazon or Take-A-Lot gift card code of an equivalent value of $30 USD as a token of appreciation for his or her participation within the survey.

Study population

The study plans to recruit a complete of 750 people who find themselves eligible for inclusion in either the “vaper cohort,” which can comprise participants who vape frequently but never smoked, or the “control cohort,” which can include participants and not using a history of vaping or smoking. The participants will probably be chosen from six world regions, including Africa and the Middle East, North America, Latino and South America, Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe.  

Enrollment for the vapers cohort will probably be conducted by a team of rigorously chosen recruiters through social media channels, WhatsApp groups, google email groups, posters in vape shops and universities, recommendations from other participants, and proposals from local vape shop owners.

For the control cohort, participants will probably be chosen amongst friends and acquaintances of the vaping participants. They will probably be age- and sex-matched to the extent possible.

Eligibility of participants

For inclusion within the study, participants needs to be adults aged 18 years or older and non-smokers or have a really limited history of smoking. All participants should provide written informed consent to take part in the study.  

For the vaper cohort, participants needs to be vaping frequently and using commercially available vaping products each day. These individuals needs to be vaping for a minimum of three consecutive months before enrollment. Moreover, these cohort participants mustn’t have a smoking history in any respect or mustn’t have been smoking previously six months.

For control cohort inclusion, participants mustn’t be smoking, vaping, or using any nicotine-based products.

Study procedure

The VERITAS web-based Web survey software will probably be used for data collection. This software is meant to optimize material presentation for study participants and facilitate data submission across various devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The software is compatible with all web browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Web Explorer.  

Using the web survey questionnaire, the vaper cohort participants will probably be asked about their historical and current patterns of using three varieties of vaping products, including disposable vaping products, rechargeable pre-filled pod vaping products, and rechargeable refillable vaping products.  

All participants will then be asked to finish the Respiratory Symptom Experience Scale (RSES), which is a validated scale to evaluate the frequency of experiencing five respiratory symptoms previously 30 days. These symptoms include morning cough with mucous, each day coughing frequency, breathlessness hampering normal each day activities, frequency of breathlessness during normal each day activities, and wheezing or whistling within the chest while not doing any physically strenuous each day activities or exercise.

RSES scores will probably be compared between the vape and control cohorts. As well as, the study will collect information to characterize the vape group participants by age of vaping initiation, reasons for initiation, varieties of products used, flavor preference, frequency and level of nicotine use, weekly frequency of vaping, and variety of flavors used monthly.

The recruitment of participants began in April 2023, and study enrollment is predicted to finish by November 2023. This study will probably be the primary of its kind to supply an in depth overview of the respiratory health effects of vaping amongst regular vapers who should not have a history of smoking.

*Necessary notice: Preprints publishes preliminary scientific reports that aren’t peer-reviewed and, subsequently, mustn’t be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

  • Preliminary scientific report.
    Zamora, J., Boughner, A., Lee, J. C., et al. (2023). Global health survey of people that vape and never smoked. Protocol for the Vaping Effects: Real-world InTernAtional Surveillance (VERITAS) Study. JMIR Preprints. https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/54236.
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