E-cigarettes have a clear negative effect on heart health, according to findings that link electronic cigarette use to increased blood pressure and stiffened arteries.
Recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, this study looked at the immediate impact of e-cigarette use on blood pressure and the heart’s arteries.
It’s well established that smoking instantly increases blood pressure and causes the walls of the aorta to harden, both of which increase risk for heart disease and death. But with e-cigarettes being relatively new, little is known about their impact on cardiovascular risk and overall health.
To learn more, researchers studied 24 smokers while they smoked tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes for 5–30 minutes. During the sessions, researchers monitored heart rate, blood pressure and changes in arterial stiffness using non-invasive tests.
After analysis, researchers found that e-cigarettes have the same immediate effects on the heart as tobacco cigarettes. Within minutes, e-cigarettes sped up heart rate and increased blood pressure, just as with tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes also caused the heart’s main artery to stiffen up, especially after smoking for 30 minutes.
The take-home message, as authors explain, is that e-cigarettes are not in fact a “safe” alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Although further research is needed to understand the full impact of e-cigarettes on health, findings confirm that e-cigarettes have immediate negative effects on heart health. According to authors, it’s likely that its effects are compounded as adults smoke e-cigarettes throughout the day.
Therefore, experts hope that findings raise awareness for the negative effects of e-cigarettes and contribute to better recommendations and regulations for them. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and it’s important that individuals understand the serious consequences of all forms of smoking on cardiovascular and overall health.