Research indicates that vaping causes alarming changes in blood pressure, heart rate and fitness levels.
Two new federally funded studies suggest that these changes occur faster in e-cigarette users than in traditional tobacco smokers, in a worrying sign.
Vaping was previously touted as a safer alternative to cigarettes, which greatly increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
But heaps of evidence in recent years suggests that electronic substitutes cause similar damage to the body.
In one study published today, experts found that vaping and smoking cause people to have a higher heart rate after 15 minutes of use and put the body into a “fight or flight” mode.
Both groups also had narrowing of the brachial artery, the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the arms and hands.
High blood pressure and narrowing of the arteries can deprive the heart of oxygen-rich blood and, over time, increase the risk of heart disease.
In a second study, researchers performed a series of cardiovascular tests after having participants run on a treadmill for 90 minutes.
Those who smoked or smoked cigarettes performed significantly worse on all measures, including how quickly the heart rate recovered after exercise and how hard the heart worked at peak levels.
The study’s lead author, Dr Christina Huggi, from the University of Wisconsin, said: ‘The exercise performance of those who used e-cigarettes was not significantly different from those who used combustible cigarettes, even though they used e-cigarettes for fewer years than people who smoked and were Much smaller.
Researchers have found that vapers have the same amount of damage to the heart as cigarette users, even though they are usually younger and spend less time using devices on average (file photo)
Vapors can damage the heart by constricting the airways and reducing the amount of oxygen pumped into the blood. Tests found users’ hearts were weaker and took longer to recover after exercise (file image)
Co-author Matthew Tattersall, associate professor of medicine at the university, added: “Immediately after vaping or smoking, there were worrisome changes in blood pressure, heart rate, heart rate variability, and vascular tension (constriction).”
The results of the two studies were presented at the 2022 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.
It comes amid the e-cigarette epidemic in the United States, where about 8 million adults and 2.5 million minors use the devices. More than 3 million Britons are regular users.
While e-cigarettes are often marketed as healthy alternatives to typical cigarettes – they contain many of their own harmful chemicals.
E-liquids contain nitrosamines, which has been linked to cancer, while flavored e-cigarettes often contain diacetyl, an irritant linked to the potentially fatal condition “popcorn lung.”
Science is also beginning to show that devices can have as negative an impact on heart health as smoking does.
In the latest study, researchers looked at data from 395 participants — 164 e-cigarettes, 117 smokers, and 114 with no history of nicotine, e-cigarettes, or tobacco use.
The researchers assessed blood pressure, heart rate, brachial artery diameter in the arm, and heart rate variability before vaping and smoking as well as 15 minutes afterwards.
The data show that subjects who smoked e-cigarettes and those who smoked cigarettes had a four beats-per-minute faster pulse after vaping or smoking, while there was no change for nonusers.
The study also found that smokers and vaping smokers raised their blood pressure while using the devices from 122/72 mm Hg (mm Hg) to 127/77 mm Hg.
A second study found that vaping had worse exercise performance than non-smokers and that it was similar to smokers’ performance.
A first study found that people who smoked e-cigarettes and smoked had a heart rate 4 beats per minute faster than those who avoided nicotine.
More than 2.5 million children in the United States use e-cigarettes – half a million more than last year and reversing downward trends in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 2.55 million Americans in middle or high school have admitted to using the device in the past 30 days. It’s a jump of 500,000, or 24 percent, from 2021. It’s the first increase since the CDC began collecting annual data in 2019.
The e-cigarette crisis in America revealed
Vaping has reached crisis levels in the United States.
Official data shows that about 8 million adults use e-cigarettes while 2.6 million adolescents use them.
While devices are considered safer alternatives to cigarettes, they do carry many of their own risks.
The liquid in them contains harmful chemicals such as the cancer-causing nitrosamines and diacetyl, which are linked to a very serious condition called “popcorn lung.”
Recent data have linked long-term use of e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes to several heart diseases.
These include a recent study by the University of Louisville that found that rats’ heart rates drop significantly when exposed to smoke.
Another National Institute of Health study found that vape use increases the risk of heart disease at the same rate as cigarette smoking.
Dr Tattersall added: “These findings suggest worse risk factors for cardiovascular disease after vaping or smoking, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system may play a role in the negative responses seen immediately after e-cigarette use and after the 90-minute exercise test.”
In a second study, the same participants underwent an effort test on a treadmill.
After 90 minutes on the machine, four heart scans were performed to determine the organ’s general health.
People who used e-cigarettes scored 11 percent lower than those who did not use nicotine.
Smokers had 16 percent lower test scores than the control group.
They also had a greater difference from their reserve and maximum heart rate when exercising, indicating that their hearts are working more during exercise.
The difference between reserve heart rate and exercise was 30 percent higher among vapers and 40 percent higher for smokers.
Smokers and the press had a lower workload on the heart than their peers who did not use nicotine and it took longer for the heart rate to return to normal after exercise.
While these findings are concerning, researchers caution that there is plenty of evidence about the downsides to using vapes.
Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, said: “These studies add to the growing scientific body that shows similar cardiovascular injury between people who use e-cigarettes and those who smoke combustible cigarettes.
In addition, it shows that the risk of cardiovascular disease is observed even among young adults with a shorter history of nicotine use.
People should know that e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes contain addictive nicotine and toxic chemicals that may have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and their health in general.
Dr. Bhatnagar participated in research published last week that found that exposure to e-cigarette smoke caused a sharp drop in heart rates in mice.
Another study funded by the National Institutes of Health last week found that rats’ blood vessels constrict when exposed to e-cigarette smoke.