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Research Letter
January 2016

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

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

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.