Adult E-cigarettes use associated with a self-reported diagnosis of COPD

Mario F. Perez, Nkiruka C. Atuegwu, Erin L. Mead, Cheryl Oncken, Eric M. Mortensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has increased in the US, but little is known about the effects of these products on lung health. The main purpose of this study was to examine the association between e-cigarette use and a participant’s report of being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a nationally representative sample of adults. Methods: The first wave of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) survey adult data was used (N = 32,320). Potential confounders between e-cigarette users and non-users were balanced using propensity score matching. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated to examine the association between e-cigarette use and COPD in the propensity-matched sample, the entire sample, different age groups, and in nonsmokers. Replicate weights and balanced repeated replication methods were utilized to account for the complex survey design. Results: Of the 3642 participants who met the criteria for e-cigarette use, 2727 were propensity matched with 2727 non e-cigarette users. In the propensity-matched sample, e-cigarette users were more likely to report being diagnosed with COPD (OR 1.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12–1.85) than non-e-cigarette users after adjusting for confounders. The result was similar in the entire sample and in the different age subgroups. Among nonsmokers, the odds of reporting a COPD diagnosis were even greater among e-cigarette users (OR 2.94, 95% CI 1.73–4.99) compared to non-e-cigarette users. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that e-cigarette use was associated with a reported diagnosis of COPD among adults in the US. Further research is necessary to characterize the nature of this association and on the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3938
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adults
  • COPD
  • E-cigarettes
  • PATH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Adult E-cigarettes use associated with a self-reported diagnosis of COPD'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this