Vaping: Just as Harmful for Your Heart as Regular Smoking
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023
If you’ve been under the impression that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, it’s time to think again. The latest research published in the esteemed Journal of the American Heart Association reveals that vaping is just as detrimental to your health as traditional cigarettes.
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“People often believe that e-cigarettes pose fewer risks compared to combustible cigarettes. In fact, many e-cigarette users choose them because they perceive them to be less harmful,” says Jessica L. Fetterman, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. “However, scientific evidence is mounting, indicating that e-cigarettes may not be a safer option for heart health. Our study further supports this evidence.”
To reach this conclusion, Fetterman and her team conducted a study involving over 400 individuals between the ages of 21 and 45, who had no previous heart disease diagnosis or risk factors.
Stiff Arteries: A Reality for Smokers Who Switch to E-cigarettes
The study included 94 non-smokers, 285 cigarette smokers, 36 e-cigarette users, and 52 dual users who both smoked traditional cigarettes and used e-cigarettes.
Interestingly, the researchers found that those who switched from combustible cigarettes to vaping, as well as dual users, had arteries with similar stiffness to those of traditional cigarette smokers. This implies that the damage to the cardiovascular system is equivalent in both cases.
In addition, endothelial cells, which line the blood vessels, were equally damaged regardless of whether people used e-cigarettes, combustible cigarettes, or both. These cells produced less nitric oxide, a heart-protective compound, and more reactive oxygen species, known for damaging cellular components such as DNA and proteins.
Fetterman concludes, “Our study results indicate that there is no evidence to suggest that the use of e-cigarettes reduces cardiovascular injury, dysfunction, or harm associated with combustible tobacco products.”
The Bottom Line: Quit Smoking for Good
The study strongly reaffirms the message: it’s time to quit smoking once and for all. While vaping may seem helpful in the short term for smoking cessation, the truth is that its long-term usage can be just as detrimental to your heart as traditional cigarettes. Hence, it’s crucial to kick the cigarette habit and prioritize your heart’s well-being.
It’s worth noting that further research is needed to understand how vaping alone affects vascular damage over an extended period.
Take charge of your health, make the decision to quit smoking, and show your heart some love.