When compared to cigarette smokers, vapers exhale more frequently through their noses.
According to a new study, e-cigarette vapers and hookah smokers are more than twice as likely to exhale particles via their nose as cigarette smokers, who prefer to release emissions through their mouth.
According to the study authors, this discovery suggests that the former group is at risk for inflammation and malignancies of the nose, sinuses, and throat, which are less common among cigarette smokers.
According to experts, vaping devices have grown in popularity since their launch in 2007, with more than one in every 20 American people now using them.
According to previous research, these items, as well as hookah waterpipes, expose the respiratory system to higher levels of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other hazardous substances than ordinary cigarettes and cigars. Experts claim their long-term health implications, on the other hand, are still unknown.
The current study, headed by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, found that a significant majority of vapers and hookah smokers exhaled through their noses (63 percent and 50 percent respectively). On the other hand, just 22% of cigarette smokers did the same.
“Our findings imply that the particular way vapers and hookah smokers use their devices exposes the nose and sinuses to considerably more emissions than cigarettes,” says study lead author Emma Karey, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in NYU Langone Health’s Department of Environmental Medicine.
Pineapple, bubblegum, and blue raspberry are just a few of the intriguing tastes available in vaping products. According to Karey, the nose-exhaling technique may be due to the fact that aroma affects taste.
Retrohaling is a phrase used by vapers and smokers to describe this activity, which is sometimes promoted as a way of extracting as much flavor as possible from each puff.
Experts have long known that how traditional tobacco products are smoked might affect which areas of the respiratory system are most susceptible to disease.
For example, researchers have shown that cigarette smokers who inhale deeply are more likely to acquire lung cancer. Cigar smokers are more likely to acquire mouth and throat cancers because they breathe more shallowly.
However, according to Karey, the new study, which will be published online on March 1 in the journal Tobacco Use Insights, is the first to look at exhalation patterns in e-cigarette and hookah pipe users outside of a lab context.
Between March 2018 and February 2019, the study’s authors observed 122 cigarette smokers and 123 vapers on the streets of New York City. They also kept an eye on 96 persons who were smoking in two Manhattan hookah bars.
After that, the researchers observed whether each smoker or vaper exhaled through their mouth, nose, or both. They also noted whether vapers utilized a pod-style (such as a vape pen) or modular tank-style vaping equipment.
Among the findings, more than 70% of those who used pod-like devices exhaled through their nose at some time during the observation period, whereas 50% of those who used modular-tank style devices did so.
According to Karey, one possible explanation for the pattern is that the latter devices produce significantly more particles each puff than the former. As a result, tank users may discover that their puffs are simply too big to exhale through their noses.
“Because vaping and hookah devices are used differently than traditional cigarettes, we need to consider diseases of the nose and lungs to evaluate their safety before deciding whether one is more risky than the other,” says Terry Gordon, Ph.D., study senior author, and professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at NYU Langone.
Gordon points out that the research team found higher damage in the nasal passages of vapers and hookah users but not in cigarette smokers in a related study, lending validity to the concern. In fact, they discovered that the former group’s noses had up to ten times the quantities of inflammatory substances released by defense cells than the latter group’s.
He adds, however, that more research is needed to identify whether the nasal damage reported in vapers is caused by their specific breathing pattern or by something else.