To describe the sociodemographic characteristics associated with e-cigarette ever use and to examine the impact of e-cigarette ever use on lung function impairment in an ageing population.
A cross-sectional analysis of data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.
A national stratified sample of 44 817 adults living in Canadian provinces.
Respondents included participants aged 45–85 and residing in the community in Canadian provinces.
The Global Lung Function Initiative normative values for forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory ratio (FEV1/FVC) appropriate for age, sex, height and ethnicity were used to interpret the severity of lung function impairment. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to examine the impact of e-cigarette ever use on obstructive and restrictive lung function impairment.
The prevalence of e-cigarette ever use was 6.5% and varied by sociodemographic factors including higher prevalence among individuals younger than 65 years, those with lower education attainment and those with lower annual household income. E-cigarette ever use was associated with 2.10 (95% CI 1.57 to 2.08) times higher odds of obstructive lung function impairment after adjusting for conventional cigarette smoking and other covariates. Individuals with exposure to e-cigarette ever use and 15 or more pack-years had 7.43 (95% CI 5.30 to 10.38) times higher odds for obstructive lung function impairment when compared with non-smokers and non-e-cigarette users after adjusting for covariates. Smokers with 15 or more pack-years had higher odds of restrictive lung function impairment irrespective of e-cigarette ever use.
Ever use of e-cigarettes was found to be associated with obstructive lung function impairment after adjusting for covariates, suggesting that e-cigarette use may be adding to the respiratory and other chronic disease burden in the population.