Vaping: more dangerous than it seems

Growing evidence shows that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes and/or vaping) has adverse effects on the cardiovascular system.

Research published in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), noted that “harmless water vapour” is not the only ingredient in an e-cigarette.

“E-cigarettes contain nicotine, particulate matter, metals and flavourings,” said senior author Professor Loren Wold, of The Ohio State University, Columbus, US.

Vaping has increased from around seven million users in 2011, to 41 million in 2018. The US, the UK, and France are the biggest markets, globally estimated to be worth $19.3 billion.

What’s all the harm? 

Despite being understudied in the past, there is growing evidence that suggests e-cigarettes cause harm to the heart.

  • Nicotine raises blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Particular matter causes stiffening of arteries.
  • Systematic inflammation, which induce effects on the lungs and can cross into the bloodstream.

“Many companies don’t publish the contents of their liquid, claiming it’s proprietary,” said Professor Wold.

“We need more uniform products to study the acute and chronic effects of each constituent separately, and in combination… we cannot assume that ingredients like propylene glycol, glycerine and flavourings, which are inert when ingested orally, have the same effects when inhaled.”