A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, used automated computer methods to mine a large online discussion forum for electronic cigarette users and found this group reported numerous adverse health effects for at least seven years.
The research, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research , shows health problems associated with e-cigarettes existed well before summer 2019 when vaping-associated pulmonary illness, or VAPI, was recognized by the medical community. This development suggests many more e-cigarette users may have serious symptoms.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, linked VAPI to vitamin E. A number of VAPI cases are not, however, linked to the vitamin. VAPI is also referred to as EVALI, or e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury.
The sudden uptick in symptoms and conditions related to VAPI comes at least 10 years after e-cigarette products gained widesprea d popularity in the United States, including the rise in popularity of JUUL and marijuana vape products. Our data, which shows many of the symptoms characterizing the current patients have been reported online for at least seven years, suggests cases similar to those in the current VAPI epidemic have existed previously and been unreported or simply not linked to vaping." Prue Talbot, professor of cell biology in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Systems Biology, who led the research
The researchers collected data posted between January 2008 and July 2015 on a large e-cigarette online discussion forum. They designed a web crawler in Java to extract and parse information on symptoms and disorders from the forum. The crawler, programmed to focus on only those posts that belonged to seven health subforums, browsed through more than 41,000 posts, of which 45% were negative in sentiment, 38% were neutral, and 17% were positive.
The top five symptoms in the database were headache, coughing, pain in throat, itching, and malaise. The top five disorders in the dataset were dehydration, asthma, pharyngitis, common cold, and aptyalism.
E-cigarette research has shown some flavor chemicals can dilate blood vessels and cause headache, nausea, and fatigue. Prolonged inhalation of some flavor chemicals can cause headaches, dizziness, and/or respiratory symptoms. Metals identified in e-cigarette aerosols have been linked to neurological and respiratory symptoms. Nicotine, a major component in most e-cigarette fluids, can affect neurological, respiratory, digestive, mouth/throat, and circulatory systems. Nicotine inhalation can cause headaches, nausea, mouth/throat pain, cough, and heartburn. Related Stories
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