The use of electronic cigarettes, or “vaping” is become increasingly popular. There may be an idea that the use of e-cigarettes is less harmful to one’s health. It may not technically be “smoking,” however, the use of e-cigarettes is beginning to show a significant detrimental impact on vascular health, says a recent study.1
Study brings health risks associated with e-cigarettes using nicotine to the forefront
Published in Vascular Medicine, the study brings to the forefront significant health risks associated with e-cigarettes using nicotine. The study showed that users of e-cigarettes had the same cardiovascular effects as those seen in smoking traditional cigarettes. It is preliminary research which will likely impact our understanding of the overall risk of e-cigarette use.
Participants’ vitals were monitored during and after smoking traditional cigarettes, and e-cigarettes with and without nicotine. Smoking lasted roughly 5 minutes, and vaping consisted of a 5-minute session as well. Vitals were monitored for 2 hours from the beginning of smoking session.
The findings revealed that nicotine containing e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes had virtually the same impact on vitals, with blood pressure, and heart rate being sustained at an elevated rate. Surprisingly, the e-cigarette actually had a much longer affect, with systolic blood pressure being raised for 45 minutes, compared to only 15 minutes after smoking a traditional cigarette. Heart rate was also elevated for 45 minutes following e-cigarette use. For the first 30 minutes the heart rate was elevated at a consistent level 8% higher than baseline.
The lead author of the study concluded, “the increased parameters within the nicotine containing devices might be a link to an increased cardiovascular risk which is well known for cigarettes.”
Focus in the future may be on the difference between nicotine-free vs. nicotine containing
Future trials will likely focus further on the difference between nicotine-free and nicotine containing e-cigarettes, and their chronic effects on peripheral and central blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Endothelial dysfunction and gender differences have also been discussed as future research arms.
- Franzen KF, Willig J, Talavera SC, et al. E-cigarettes and cigarettes worsen peripheral and central hemodynamics as well as arterial stiffness: A randomized, double-blinded pilot study. Vascular Medicine, July 9, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1177/1358863X18779694
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Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia though naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.