Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths worldwide. It has been linked to several diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and stroke, among others. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that vaping can be a safer alternative to smoking, particularly in terms of cardiovascular health.
In this article, we review several recent studies that confirm the reduced risk from vaping compared to smoking, as well as some potential risks associated with specific flavors and chemicals found in e-liquids.
Comparative Assessment of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Aerosol and Cigarette Smoke on Endothelial Cell Migration: The Replica Project
A recent study titled "Comparative assessment of electronic nicotine delivery systems aerosol and cigarette smoke on endothelial cell migration: The Replica Project" replicated a previous study and found that e-cigarette aerosol causes less cellular damage than cigarette smoke. The researchers explained that even at low concentrations, vaping did not affect endothelial cell migration, whereas cigarette smoke did.
The study further confirms the importance of electronic cigarettes and tobacco-heated products as a possible harm reduction strategy for cardiovascular diseases development in smokers.
Longitudinal Associations between Exclusive and Dual Use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Cigarettes and Self-Reported Incident Diagnosed Cardiovascular Disease Among Adults
Another study analyzing data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco & Health (PATH) study found no link between exclusive ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) use and an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. The study, titled "Longitudinal associations between exclusive and dual use of electronic nicotine delivery systems and cigarettes and self-reported incident diagnosed cardiovascular disease among adults," found that exclusive cigarette use increased the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, while exclusive ENDS use and even dual use of ENDS and cigarettes did not.
Study Finds Certain Flavors Disrupt the Heart’s Electrical Conduction
A study published in Nature Communications titled "E-cigarettes and their lone constituents induce cardiac arrhythmia and conduction defects in mice" suggested that short-term exposure to vapor can destabilize heart rhythm through specific chemicals within e-liquids. The research team concluded that the use of certain flavors or chemicals found in the products may disrupt the heart’s electrical conduction, causing arrhythmias.
Relative Safety of Smokeless Tobacco Products
Another recent study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research highlighted the relative safety of smokeless tobacco products and how switching to the products from combustible cigarettes was associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk in smokers. The study, titled "Associations of Smokeless Tobacco Use With Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Insights From the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study," analyzed data from a nationally representative group of adults who provided urine and blood samples in 2013–14 as part of the PATH study. The data indicated that despite similar nicotine levels, smokeless tobacco users displayed significantly lower biomarkers of disease.
Overall, the reviewed studies confirm that vaping can be a safer alternative to smoking in terms of cardiovascular health. However, some potential risks associated with specific flavors and chemicals found in e-liquids have been identified. Therefore, it is essential to choose high-quality products from reputable manufacturers and avoid using products that contain potentially harmful ingredients.
- Is vaping safer than smoking?
Yes, several recent studies have confirmed that vaping can be a safer alternative to smoking, particularly in terms of cardiovascular health.
- Are there any risks associated with vaping?
While vaping is generally considered safer than smoking, some potential risks associated with specific flavors and chemicals found in e-liquids have been identified.
- Can vaping help people quit smoking?
Yes, vaping can be an effective tool to help people quit smoking. In fact, some studies have found that e-cigarettes are more effective than traditional nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers quit.
- Is smokeless tobacco safer than smoking?
While smokeless tobacco products are not completely risk-free, some studies suggest that they may be a safer alternative to smoking in terms of cardiovascular health.
- How can I ensure that I am using high-quality vaping products?
To ensure that you are using high-quality vaping products, it is essential to choose products from reputable manufacturers and avoid using products that contain potentially harmful ingredients. It is also important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and maintenance of the products.