Dual Substance Use of Electronic Cigarettes and Alcohol

Tanner J. Wetzel, Todd A. Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Electronic cigarettes (ECs) are a modern nicotine delivery system that rapidly grew in widespread use, particularly in younger populations. Given the long history of the comorbidity of alcohol and nicotine use, the rising prevalence of ECs raises the question as to their role in the consumption of alcohol. Of the numerous models of ECs available, JUUL is the most popular. This narrative review aims to determine current trends in literature regarding the relationship between EC and alcohol dual use, as well as hypothesize potential pathogenic tissue damage and summarize areas for future study, including second-hand vapor exposure and calling for standardization among studies. In summary, EC users are more likely to participate in hazardous drinking and are at higher risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD). We surmise the pathogenic damage of dual use may exhibit an additive effect, particularly in pathogen clearance from the lungs, increased inflammation and decreased immune response, physical damage to epithelial cells, and exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-like illnesses. A better understanding of pathogenic damages is critical to understand the risks placed on dual users when exposed to respiratory pathogens, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number593803
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - Nov 2 2020


  • alcohol misuse
  • eCIG
  • ethanol
  • polysubstance use
  • vaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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