A case report says “Chronic idiopathic neutrophilia in a smoker, relieved after smoking cessation with the use of electronic cigarette”
Not only is the title of the case study a marathon read, but the first three words are more than a mouthful and certainly not something the casual e-cigarette user might be familiar with.
In layman’s terms, “chronic idiopathic neutrophilia” is a condition where a person’s white blood cell count is abnormally high. Below, is my brief interpretation of the case study, also in layman’s terms:
White blood cells exist to fight off infections, bacteria and diseases and in the case of the patient in this study, the patient had no diseases or infections that would have caused the increase in white blood cell counts.
Smoking is known to elevate white blood cell counts and it is presumed that white blood cell counts are high in smokers because those cells are trying to fight off low-grade inflammation – something believed to be a precursor to heart disease. After trying a variety of medications to rectify the problem, the doctor recommended that the patient quit smoking.
After two unsuccessful attempts – one a failed “cold turkey” approach and the other a failed attempt utilizing the patch and varenicline (Chantix) simultaneously – the patient took it upon himself to try to quit by using an electronic cigarette.
Within ten days of getting his e-cigarette, the patient stopped smoking tobacco cigarettes completely. Although he continued to use the electronic cigarette, six months later, his white blood cell counts returned to normal.
The purpose of the study is not to imply that e-cigarettes cured anything or have any sort of medicinal value. What it does seem to suggest is that the vapor inhaled by users of electronic cigarettes do not contain the same things that cause elevated white blood cell counts that traditional cigarettes do.
One can make the further conclusion that this would seem to indicate that e-cigarettes do not cause the same type of low-grade inflammation that is thought to be a risk factor for the future cardiovascular disease.
While the study’s authors certainly fall short of an all-out recommendation that smokers switch to e-cigarettes, since they are not FDA approved, it sure seems like they would like to. In the Conclusion portion of the published study, two excellent questions are posed:
- Should doctors advise patients who have managed to quit smoking by using electronic cigarettes to stop using them and risk a smoking relapse?
- Should patients who have repeatedly failed to quit smoking by currently approved methods be denied the suggestion of doctors to quit smoking by using electronic cigarettes?
It was a doctor who suggested that I try an electronic cigarette after I failed to be successful with FDA approved methods and I sure am glad he did. Not only did I end my twenty-year two-pack-a-day smoking habit within three days, I haven’t had the slightest desire to pick up a regular cigarette in more than three years!
I think those of us who have successfully made the transition from regular cigarettes to electronic ones already know the answer to those questions.
We felt the difference in our bodies within a week. I know that the “real world” doctors who frequently send business to our electronic cigarette website have already answered those questions for themselves.
Hopefully, more and more studies like this one will convince the health care community at large that electronic cigarettes are a far cry better for a patient’s health than tobacco cigarettes are – even if they do not yet know what long-term effects, if any, there are in using e-cigarettes – and that they will begin publicly recommending them.