Are E-cigarettes worse than regular tobacco cigarettes?

New research warns of increased risk to heart and lungs from vaping

Last Updated: Tuesday 12 November 2019

Vaping has been considered a lesser evil than tobacco cigarettes. But a new study indicated it might be as bad, if not worse, than regular cigarettes. The study by Smidt Heart Centre at Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles claimed that electronic cigarettes may restrict blood flow to the heart more than regular cigarettes.

Researchers studied people in the 18-38 age group who smoked e-cigarettes or tobacco cigarettes for this report. They compared the coronary blood flow “focusing on a measure of coronary vascular function” between non-smokers, smokers and vapers after mild exercise. The mild exercise, in this case, was a handgrip exercise which simulates physiologic stress.

“In smokers who used traditional cigarettes, blood flow increased modestly after traditional cigarette inhalation and then decreased with subsequent stress. However, in smokers who used e-cigarettes, blood flow decreased after both inhalation at rest and also after handgrip stress,” according to a statement from the institute.

This means that vapers need to worry about both lung problems and heart problems. A recent Food and Drug Administration study has indicated that 3.62 million middle- and high-school students in the United States used e-cigarettes in 2018.

“What makes e-cigarettes so harmful to the heart and lungs is not just nicotine,” said senior author Florian Rader, medical director of the Human Physiology Laboratory and assistant director of the Non-Invasive Laboratory at Institute. “It’s the completely unknown bucket of manufactured products used to form vapors that is likely causing the most harm. This is what we believe is underlying the current public health problem.”

Even though e-cigarette companies still claim that their products are better than conventional cigarettes, there are more and more health issues emerging out of e-cigarette users. The US has recorded over 2,000 lung injuries and 40 deaths among e-cigarettes users. The findings of this  study was presented on September 11, 2019 at the annual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2019.

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