Can You Get Pneumonia From Vaping?
Can you get pneumonia from vaping? Over the years, vaping has been and will likely continue to be blamed for a variety of different things without any evidence to support the claims (I’m looking at you, popcorn lung). I’ve even seen articles in mass media claiming links between vaping and the premature death of you pet dog!
Normally, these are easy to disprove, laugh at and move on, but some of them stick and become myths that need to be disproved and inevitably pop up again a few months or a year later. In the case of pneumonia, the articles are usually referring to lipoid pneumonia. Lipoid pneumonia is a rare respiratory illness that may occur from aspiration or inhalation of fat-like material in the lung; an occurrence that is commonly reported in elderly people after accidental ingestion of oil-based laxatives. The idea that vaping could put people at risk of lipoid pneumonia is illogical, simply because commercially available e-liquids do not contain nor generate fat-like material.
So where did the idea that vaping causes pneumonia come from then?
While smoking is a known risk factor when it comes to respiratory infections, including pneumonia and undoubtedly, quitting smoking is among the most important steps a smoker can take to lower their risk of respiratory pneumonia. Indeed, ex-smokers have a lower risk of pneumonia than current smokers, irrespective of age. This benefit extends to vapers as well.
Also, given that propylene glycol in its aerosol form is a potent bactericidal agent, regular vaping may have additional theoretical health benefits. Considering that vapor toxicology is by far less problematic than that of conventional cigarettes and that e-cigarettes products are at least 96 % less harmful compared to traditional cigarettes and that cigarette smoking carries a heightened risk for respiratory infections and pneumonia, substantially reducing daily cigarette consumption in smokers by switching to e-cigarettes products is likely to produce significant health benefits.
So then, can you get pneumonia from vaping? No. Can you get pneumonia from continuing to smoke? Yes, or more accurately you have an increased likelihood and the best way to lower the likelihood is to stop smoking or start vaping.