The Way Your Lungs Get Affected by Electronic Cigarettes: Results of Online User’s Survey


The internet has scanty data about how your lungs are affected by e-cigarettes.

Therefore, using help from Paul Bergen, a researcher, along with vaping bloggers (together with many of you ardent readers), I sought to know from vapers how making the switch to e-cigarettes had affects the way they coughed, exercised and did strenuous tasks, together with their lung capacity.

Chart 1: For How Long Have Individuals Used Electronic Cigarettes? 

Our question was: For what Time Period have you used e-cigarettes?

For what Time Period have you used e-cigarettes?

Of course, the less period of time that you have vaped, the less chances of it having adversely affecting your health.

However, it is quite interesting that approximately 40% of individuals surveyed have practiced vaping for over one year. This result is quite opposed to the outcome we got from our survey done in 2009 in conjunction with University of Alberta. At this time, majority of vapers had in fact only used e-cigs for a relatively-short time-period.

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Chart 2: Alteration in Habits of Smoking upon Switching to E-cigarettes. 

We posed the question:

Which among the following statements holds true?

  • After shifting to e-cigarettes, you then smoked fewer cigarettes with tobacco (or perhaps altogether quit smoking tobacco).
  • After shifting to e-cigarettes, you then smoked more cigarettes with tobacco.
  • You did not smoke prior to using e-cigarettes.

Which among the following statements holds true?

Even though the survey concentrates on improvements in health, it is motivating seeing only 4 individuals laid claim to smoking more upon switching to e-cigarettes. I got surprised, however, seeing 17 individuals had not smoked prior to starting use of e-cigarettes.

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Chart 3: Vaping Compared to Smoking 

Our question was:

Do you:

  • Vape on daily basis and that alone
  • Vape mostly using rare or occasional cigarette
  • Still smoke, yet vape for more time than you practice smoking
  • Still smoke, yet smoke for more time than you practice vaping

What is your vaping habits?It is imperative to ask this question, since we ought to see whether any improvements in health are greater amongst individuals who exclusively use e-cigarettes. (I will however leave cross analysis matters to Dr Farsalinos)

Again, the survey does not focus on this aspect, though it is great noticing that 77 percent have quit using cigarettes with tobacco entirely, with 15 percent only using an occasional cigarette.

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Chart 4: Cough of a Smoker after Making the Switch

We posed the question:

If you experienced recurring coughing prior to shifting to e-cigs:

  • Is your cough worse now?
  • Has the cough remained unchanged?
  • Has your cough become better or altogether disappeared?
  • Question is not applicable

Cough of a Smoker after Making the Switch

The outcome was clear: nearly two thirds (63.9 percent) of individuals felt their smoker’s cough got better upon switching to e-cigs. Less than 3.4 percent felt the cough got worse or remained unchanged.

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Chart 5: The Ability to Exercise upon Making the Switch to Vaping

We posed the question:

Has your ability of exercising:

  • Become worse
  • Improved
  • Remained same
  • Question is not applicable

Has your ability of exercising:

Amazing news if you enjoy sport – 72.9 percent of vapers reported experiencing improved ability of exercising upon switching.

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Chart 6: The Ability to Do Strenuous Jobs after Switching to Vaping

We asked:

Has ability of doing strenuous tasks (like gardening, housework, lifting etc):

  • Turned worse
  • Turned better
  • Remained same
  • Question is not applicable

The Ability to Do Strenuous Jobs after Switching to Vaping

Certain individuals of course do not exercise – yet majority of us have to perform menial chores. As such, we sought to know about how vaper’s ability of doing tiring jobs had been altered.

More than 66 percent of vapers experienced improved ability of doing strenuous tasks, even though this failed to match number of individuals reporting improved ability of exercising.

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Chart 7: Capacity of Lungs after Shifting to E-Cigs:

We inquired:

If you knew your previous lung capacity, did it:

  • Get worse
  • Improve
  • Remain unchanged
  • Question does not apply

Capacity of Lungs after Shifting to E-Cigs

This survey aimed at working out effect of e-cigarettes on lungs, therefore this was the question most crucial! The outcome was striking – more than 70 percent reported improved lung capacity.

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Chart 8: Were Lung Capacity Changes Confirmed by a Physician?

We posed the question:

Have lung capacity changes been confirmed by any doctor:

  • yes
  • no
  • question does not apply

Were Lung Capacity Changes Confirmed by a Physician?

Evaluating your lung capacity change is a question more subjective than majority of other questions posed here.

I know, from conversations had with vapers, some have already undergone lung capacity measurements, normally due to existing health complications.

22.2 percent of vapers informed us that lung capacity changes had already been confirmed by a physician, which I trust will prove helpful when evaluating validity of the outcome obtained.

(Fewer individuals answered this question, since we employed skip logic, implying that those who had given a not applicable answer to question eight jumped to end of survey.)

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Potential Problems Arising in this Survey:

All open surveys of course do have problems, some of which are:

  1. As social media, vaping blogs and forums was used for recruiting participants, many participants are very likely being enthusiastic vapers, a fact which may occasion bias in posing subjective questions.
  2. There also is some danger in that:

Individuals who do not prefer vaping will answer questions deliberately to project vaping as a negative practice

Individuals may misinterpret questions, especially if they are filling out the survey hurriedly

  1. This study, ideally, would be conducted by a Doctor or University – the only reason why we undertook it was since data was simply unavailable.

The outcome was nevertheless fascinating and supports anecdotal evidence – hopefully, it will inspire additional research work.

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Survey data taken from


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