Vaping May Harm Heart

Trying to break a bad habit can be hard to handle when you go cold turkey. Be it nail-biting, using technology too much, overeating or any other number of behaviors you don’t like — it’s hard to just stop. That’s why finding ways to ween ourselves off habits or addictions is so helpful. When e-cigarettes first hit the market, people were hesitant but hopeful that they could make a difference.

Over the years, doctors have been pleased with the results. In studies, 18 percent of smokers successfully quit using e-cigarettes, which was significantly better than the 10 percent who stopped using other nicotine replacements. However, 80 percent of the people who quit using e-cigs continued to use the devices after quitting, which is a bad result considering only nine percent of the people using gum/patches/etc. continued to use their products. While vaping may get a person to give up smoking, it doesn’t get them to stop inhaling nicotine.

E-cigarettes appear to be just as addictive as their traditional counterparts. And we don’t know much about them yet. They are still relatively new and unresearched. Moreover, their ingredients vary from brand to brand.

Doctors are torn about whether people should switch from cigarettes to vapes if they are seeking better health. As Dr. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, said, “There’s almost no doubt that they expose you to fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes.” Typical cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals.

However, new research may give you a solid reason to stop vaping. Scientists say it can cause serious heart problems. It’s a well-known fact That nicotine is terrible for the heart, but it seems that vaping — independent of the nicotine — also causes problems. The research, appearing in the Cardiovascular Research journal this week, sheds doubt on the widespread belief that vaping is safe.

As of yet, we don’t know what particulate matter is in e-cigs. However, particulates can increase blood pressure and heart rate and cause inflammation and stiff arteries. All of these problems contribute to the risk of heart disease.

We know these problems are seen in these studies looking at the short-term effects of vaping,” said Loren Wold, senior author of the study, “but that research is inconsistent and the impact of chronic e-cigarette use is an outright mystery. The potential harm to the heart over time is essentially unstudied.”

While the jury is out about the benefits of using them to quit traditional cigarettes, it seems evident that people shouldn’t start vaping if they aren’t already dependent on nicotine. Nicholas Buchanan, the lead author of the study, said, “For someone who has never smoked, it is just not worth the risk and it seems pretty conclusive that you can say they’re not harm-free. There’s a vast variety of e-liquids and different devices out there and the manufacturers don’t have to tell you what’s in them.”

Until we hear conclusive news about what method is best, speak to your doctor about the best way to quit smoking for you. Quitting is excellent, you just don’t want to pick up a habit that may be worse.

Banner Image: Sarah Johnson from Irvine, CA, Wikimedia
November 08, 2019
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