There’s no debating that smoking is terrible for your health, and while cigarette companies inform smokers of the potential health risks, people continue to poison their bodies. Not only does smoking impact your physical health, but it can also negatively affect your mental health, creating an addiction millions struggle to beat. More recently, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have increased in popularity, as many believe them to be a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes. Some even claim that switching to vaping could help cigarette smokers stop smoking altogether. In fact, last year Public Health England declared that they are 95% safer than smoking, a statement that was not only premature but perhaps misleading. There is growing concern about the safety of e-cigarettes; one new study suggested that e-cigarettes are just as harmful to your heart as normal cigarettes.
Vaping and Heart Health
A new study suggests that vaping may be just as bad for your heart as smoking cigarettes. To determine this, researchers measured aortic stiffness and observed the immediate effects of vaping on 24 adults with an average age of 30.
As University of Athens Medical School Professor Charalambos Vlachopoulos explained, “The aorta is like a balloon next to the heart. . . . The more stiff the balloon is, the more difficult for the heart to pump. It’s the most powerful biomarker we have for estimating cardiovascular risk.” “If the aorta is stiff you multiply your risk of dying, either from heart diseases or from other causes,” he added.
The average vaping session is approximately 30 minutes long and it takes about 5 minutes to smoke an entire cigarette. This study used this information to compare the harmful effects from smoking both varieties of cigarette and discovered that the negative effects an average vaping session has on your body mirror those induced by smoking.
However, this study has not come without criticism, with many scientists arguing that other things create similar short-term effects on aortic stiffness, like caffeine, but without any detrimental long-term effects.
More Studies That Suggest Smoking E-Cigarettes Isn’t “Safe”
This isn’t the only study that has questioned the safety of e-cigarettes. Harvard University released a study that linked smoking e-cigarettes to lung disease in December 2015. Another study performed by the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs, published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine earlier this year, found that e-cigarettes are “toxic to airway cells, suppress host defenses, and promote inflammation over time, while also promoting virulence of colonizing bacteria.” You can read more about these two studies in our article here.
A study out of Hong Kong, China suggested that the chemicals found in most e-cigarettes are more harmful to human health than polluted air. In fact, researchers claimed that many e-cigarettes contain an alarming 1 million times more cancer-causing substances than outdoor air. These findings provoked grave concern surrounding the safety of vaping in Hong Kong, so much so that the government is considering banning the import and sale of e-cigarettes. Check out our article here to learn more.
Are E-Cigarettes a Healthier Alternative to Regular Cigarettes?
Despite these recent findings, numerous scientists and researchers still maintain their assertion that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Although this may merit some truth, it’s important to note that with any new product, only the short-term effects can be known with certainty. E-cigarettes have not been studied for long enough to determine their long-term impact on human health. Although these studies do not provide insights on what the long-term effects of vaping would be, it is clear that e-cigarettes are not as “risk-free” as we’ve been led to believe.
Even if vaping is a healthier alternative, it remains the lesser of two considerable evils. Both e-cigarettes and cigarettes pose a threat to human health, so the safest option would be to stop smoking altogether. If you’re interested in natural methods to quit smoking, check out this GreenMedinfo.com article. If you or someone you know needs help or lacks motivation to quit smoking, check out our article here, which describes what happens to your body after you quit.
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