Vaping and Asthma: The Risks, Benefits and Side Effects

Can vaping cause asthma?

The effects vaping may have on the body are still a topic of research. However, studies claim that the consequences of smoking are similar to the potential risks of vaping. Vaping may damage the lung cells of the user, while nicotine and e-liquids can lead to inflammation of the lungs. In particular, research shows that e-cig exposure may cause asthma.

Is vaping beneficial for people with asthma?

People who vape report that vaping has a beneficial effect on their symptoms. What’s more, the release of moisture helps sinus congestion. Research shows that individuals who switched to vaping report some significant improvement in the long-term. Last but not least, a survey reveals that vaping may reverse the risk of asthma and lung damage in smokers.

More doctors are recommending that asthma patients go to the steam room to help with their asthma. The moisture in the air helps relieve some symptoms. The problem with steam rooms is the extreme heat. Could vaping deliver the same results without needing to sit in a hot room full of steam?

Vaping and Asthma - The Risks, Benefits and Side Effects

Vaping and Asthma

Do you think before you take another breath of fresh air? The truth is that for many people breathing has become an automated behavior. However, for people who have asthma, their chronic wheezing and coughing often makes breathing a conscious process that reminds them how precious health is.

Nevertheless, some habits die hard, and people with asthma continue smoking or vaping. In fact, the act of smoking or vaping can also grow into a learned and automated behavior. While it’s been proven that cigarettes have an adverse effect on asthma, the topic of vaping and asthma is still covered in mist.

How Does Vaping Affect People With Asthma?

With misleading nicotine levels and a bunch of chemicals, some of which – carcinogenic, vapes are not as safe as people believe. What’s more, experts urge people to realize that vaping might not be the ultimate solution for asthmatics who are trying to quit smoking.

Vaping affects the body in numerous ways. First of all, nicotine may cause inflammation of the lungs, which may worsen asthma symptoms. In fact, a study showed that the short-term effects caused by smoking are similar to vaping. Coughing, dizziness, headaches, and the list goes on and on.

Researchers at Indiana University in Indianapolis found out that e-cigs without nicotine also affect the lung cells. What’s more, research on lung tissues growing in a lab dish showed that tempting flavors, such as banana pudding, hot cinnamon candies, kola, menthol tobacco, and vanilla, can kill lung cells. In fact, experts warn people that with such flavors, companies target young users.
The chemical diacetyl made to make those flavors is known to have caused popcorn lung or bronchiolitis obliterans in workers in factories that produce the chemical or others that inhaled it from making the flavoring for buttered popcorn. Hence the term popcorn lung.
One thing to note, however, is that even though the chemical diacetyl is present in those vape juice flavors, it does not necessarily mean that vaping them will cause popcorn lung. The study showed that as of yet there is no correlation, but it should serve as a warning and to indicate that more research is needed before making a safety determination.

E-cigarette exposure also leads to the destruction of lung cells and may cause asthma and emphysema. A study on mice published by the European Respiratory Society was the first one to reveal the possible ways vaping and secondhand exposure may cause asthma. Although these findings should not trigger mass panic, more regulations on vaping are needed, at least until additional data is collected.

Is It Safe To Smoke With Asthma?

At the same time, people who suffer from asthma report that vaping has a beneficial effect on their condition and users claim that vapes serve as inhalers. One of the explanations is that vaporizers release moisture into the air that helps sinus congestion. Additionally, users say that by adding herbs, such as peppermint, symptoms do not cause any trouble.

Experts backed up these beliefs and showed that people who switched to vaping (or used vaping to reduce their smoking), showed impressive levels of improvement regarding their condition. In fact, 12-month and 24-month follow-ups supported the long-term benefits of vaping on asthmatics.
Smoking is one of the worst things somebody with asthma can do to themselves. Even though studies have not given the all clear as far as the safety of vaping is concerned, it certainly shouldn’t be considered as bad or worse than smoking with asthma.

Can Vaping Reverse The Risks Of Asthma In Smokers?

Surprisingly, vaping can reverse lung damage. A worldwide Internet survey with more than 19,000 users revealed that 76% of ex-smokers with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who switched to vaping, reported improvement in breathing, physical state, and senses. Additionally, a third of participants claimed they were able to decrease their medications.

As mentioned earlier, the effects of vaping and its link to asthma are still a topic of research. While some consumers report some miraculous benefits of vaping, research still shows that vaporizers (even nicotine-free) can harm the lung tissues.

Wouldn’t you think again before your next puff?

Published: October 11, 2017 Updated: July 14, 2022



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34 comments on “Vaping and Asthma: The Risks, Benefits and Side Effects

  • Nahh

    September 28, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    This has to be the most ridiculous post I’ve seen. I vaped heavily for 2 years, within that 2 years I was diagnosed with a lung obstruction disease,wheez constantly, and struggle with bronchitis. This last bout costed me 5 days of work. No vaping is not good for asthma, vaping causes asthma. I’ll kick my self for vaping ever since.

  • Kb

    June 2, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I have always had asthma and I just started vaping with no nicotine, is this bad or good for me, I’m not really addicted to it, I only have it so often with my friend just so you know

  • Elizabeth

    April 24, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    I am an asthma sufferer and have found that my asthma and phlegm build up us dramatically worse since being with my new partner if twelve months …. who vapes continuously !
    Could this be the cause ? Could the vaping be affecting my asthma?

  • Good Grief

    November 2, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    A medically-approved asthma vape is called a rescue inhaler or a nebulizer.

    • Chloe

      April 6, 2020 at 11:45 am

      Then why does it not work ans it clouds my lungs.

  • Intelligent Human Being

    November 2, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    In the 1950’s medical doctors promoted cigarette smoking. Vaping cannot and is absolutely not beneficial in any way. Don’t be tricked into believe this hype.

    • Gill

      August 7, 2019 at 6:36 am

      I’d agree with you if you were talking about a non-smoker starting, but come on, “in any way”? Don’t be stupid. Using one short-term and tapering down nicotine levels to come off smoking is so much better than carrying on with cigs, and you just make your own argument sound ridiculous by suggesting otherwise.

      • Chloe

        April 6, 2020 at 11:45 am

        Then it doesn’t work for you. Move on.

  • Clair

    November 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Hi I asthmatic and my partner wants to switch to vaping (so he can smoke inside) Will this cause and adverse effect to me?

  • Robert

    October 6, 2018 at 12:37 am

    I have never smoked and have had asthma all my life. Real bad as a child but grew out of it as an adult. Now older it is starting to come back. I use an inhaler 3-4 times a day mostly at night since laying down is more difficult to breath. Breathing steam does relieve symptoms. Why wouldn’t vaping help if it is only steam, not smoke. Can you vape without adding any flavors or oils? Not interested in inhaling anything except moisture from water.

    • Chloe

      April 6, 2020 at 11:48 am

      That’s why i don’t smoke with Diactyl and nictone

  • Jai jai

    September 11, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    I have been vaping since I was 13 my brother got me addicted to the nicotine I have been vaping for 3 years now and I ahve had athsma my whole life before I started vaping I would always be coughing and weezing and would have a constant struggle to breath correctly… After vaping for 3 years now I can say i don’t cough or weeze nearly as much and my breathing has gotten a lot better I vape 50 nic and I started on 3 nic my Vapes have had a tremendous effect on my athsma even my doctor asked my I hadn’t had to use my inhaler ad much dn I never told her i was using a vape but I am off my inhaler and vape as much as possible I used to smoke cigarettes but they made me cough and weeze as much as I had in the beginning so I went back to using my $30 vape and $20 dollor juice which usually will last me about 3-5 weeking depending on how much free time I get so I can honestly say I am happy with the results I have received

  • James Duncan-Smith

    August 25, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    I recently took up vaping after smoking for more than 20 years and really started to enjoy the benefits of being cigarette free.
    After about a month I started to have problems breathing though and scared myself. I decided to leave the vaping and go back to cigarettes but now I am still having problems breathing and am wondering if I have asthma now

  • Jala

    August 24, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Um can you vape with asthma or is that not safe I mean like if you don’t have any nic in it can your vape or will it harm you

  • Kris

    August 12, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Asthma here. My lungs are condensed but fine compared to the poisonus smoke I used to inhale

  • Shelia

    August 9, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    I recently have tried vaping in order to quit smoking, however, I have found that my asthma is triggered by vaping much more than smoking. My asthma is also triggered by fog machines used at concerts and in bars. The PG and VG I have learned is also used in these machines. In addition, I am allergic to soy, which VG can be made from.

  • Chelsea

    August 5, 2018 at 10:02 am

    I’ve been an out of control asthmatic for years. I started using menthol flavored juices in a vape and have seen my symptoms improve significantly. I’ve not needed my inhaler for weeks now.

  • Mary Anm Nicely

    August 1, 2018 at 5:52 am

    I have asma and just stsrted vaping to try and quit smoking .Ive noticed that when i vape it does make it hard to breath afterwards. should i keep vaping

  • Stewart Painter

    July 11, 2018 at 4:52 am

    I am an asthma sufferer with nose polyps which reduces further the airways. Endless prescriptions for nasal sprays and inhalers means I’m a slave to it. What is the future in medically approved asthma vape?

  • Jessica

    July 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Hi I have had asthma my whole life . I smoked cigarettes for 12 years and then switched over to vape . For a while I thought I could breathe so much better vaping till I recently had been sent to Er from asthma attack which I still haven’t recovered as I type . Vaping is terrible for asthma . I know how hard it is to give up our terrible habits but yes vaping affects asthma terribly ! I can hardly swallow or breathe going on 7 days now . They believe vaping has been the trigger for my symptoms .

  • Andrea Lollar

    June 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    If i vape around someone who has asthma does it harm them

    • Ben Goudro

      July 3, 2018 at 12:25 am

      Yes. I have asthma and when many of my friends vape around me my asthma gets much worse and I often have to use my puffer immediately after.

  • Ash

    May 22, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I have asthma pretty bad and the vapor from my vape definitely loosens up my lungs at first but if I use it more than for a few puffs to calm my nerves from the day or congestion, my lungs freak (I think it’s from the liquid, not the nicotine) and I need my inhaler. I definitely do not recommend vaping to many people especially with asthma.

  • Amreen Akhter

    April 17, 2018 at 10:04 am

    ive never had asthma – after 5 years of vaping – I developed asthma – vaping can cause asthma and worsen it over time… don’t vape or use this as a substitute for smoking- its just as bad..

  • Paula Walker

    April 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Capping may be a good alternative to smoking cigarettes. But it’s not good for their Asthmatic children or spouse

  • Paula Walker

    April 1, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    I have Asthma and have never smoked anything. My spouse. Never smoked anything in our home for 34 yrs until he started vapping in January, I got pneumonia in February even after I finished antibiotics. Careflighted to hospital ICU for a week on respirator.
    . I have had to double up on Asthma meds because I keep having Asthma attacks.
    Before my husbands vapping, I haven’t had an Asthma attack or pneumonia in more than 2 yrs.
    My RN heard crackling sounds in lower lung left lobe a few days ago which will be checked again on Monday. If I am getting pneumonia again, then it will be a trend involving the capping. Hospitals are to expensive as well as my life.

  • Elizabeth

    March 27, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    I have asthma and my husband vaping effects me instantly

  • Ryan

    March 18, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I have asthma and i vape with no nicotine. Is it ok for me to vape with nicotine or will it cause me to have a asthma attack or anything else?

  • Jules Goldstein

    March 18, 2018 at 10:08 am

    I have been vaping for 4 years and my copd just started acting up I’m now coughing and weezing like every morning just like when i used to smoke i guess I’m going to have to quit vaping too

  • Gabrielle Rose

    January 8, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    if i have asthma can i vape but with no nic. and like what’s in a vape that makes me not able to do it

    • Brendan

      March 2, 2018 at 1:26 am

      Currently The main concern is around a chemical called Diacetyl, which is thoiught to cause popcorn lung when inhaled. this hasnt been proven but if you want to play it safe avoid savoury flavours like desserts or anything that may have butter flavouring..

      • Julian

        May 31, 2018 at 2:16 pm

        Its about 400 times more Diacetyl units in cigarettes and no survey i know of has ever reported any smokers diagnosed with «popcorn lungs». Also, the most brands producing e-juice has removed Diacetyl from their products. And if you avoid very cheap e-juice, and go for the mid tier to higher priced juices, you should be just fine.

    • val

      April 1, 2018 at 6:53 am

      nicotine mostly

  • Joe

    December 7, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    I was a smoker of cigarettes from the age of around 14 and a sufferer of asthma all my life, stopping and starting over the years because I had to due to my breathing problems. Eventually I stopped altogether for years but after some stressful times took a cigarette from a friend and started again, ecigs were just arriving and I tried them with determination to stop smoking. I stuck with them for about 2years spending as much on different mods as I had on cigarettes. I can categorically confirm that there is no way they can ever improve asthma, people who say this are just kidding themselves like I do. I have been on and off vaping now for years and it does effect my asthma without doubt, it also effects my migraines and general headaches. So why the hell do I still keep going back to it, answer is I am easily addictive person I’m a stress head, I suffer from depression and angsiety so I grab a crutch and for me it’s vaping something I (think) I’m in control of lol, what an idiot. I am 57 5’ 10” weigh 12 stone and self employed I work hard for a living no benefits here.