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Research Letter |

Electronic Cigarette Use and Respiratory Symptoms in Chinese Adolescents in Hong Kong

Man Ping Wang, PhD1; Sai Yin Ho, PhD2; Lok Tung Leung, BSc2; Tai Hing Lam, MD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1School of Nursing, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
2School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(1):89-91. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.3024.
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This study investigates the association between e-cigarette use and respiratory symptoms in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are increasingly used, but their health effects remain unclear. The primary ingredients of e-cigarette liquid, propylene glycol and flavoring chemicals (eg, diacetyl or diketone), are respiratory irritants and harmful to the lungs.1 Well-documented respiratory toxicants, such as particulate matters, volatile organic compounds, and metals, were found in e-cigarette aerosol, although in lower concentrations than conventional cigarettes.2 Short-term adverse effects of airway resistance and inflammation have been observed in adults, but null associations were also reported.3 Children are particularly vulnerable to respiratory pollutants, yet, to our knowledge, no study has evaluated the respiratory effects of e-cigarettes in children. We assessed the association between e-cigarette use and respiratory symptoms in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong.

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Figure.
Higher Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms in e-Cigarette Users Than Nonusers Across Different Smoking Status

χ2P < .001 for all students, P < .01 for never-smokers, P = .01 for ever-smokers, P = .69 for experimenters, P = .04 for ex-smokers, and P = .40 for current smokers.

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