Vaping ‘Can Improve Smokers’ Hearts Within Weeks’
People who have a lifetime habit of smoking cigarettes are likely to find it really difficult to quit their cigarettes for good. However, if they could make the switch to e-cigarettes and vape instead, they could find their heart health improves in just a few weeks.
This is according to a study by researchers at The University of Dundee in Scotland, which looked at 114 smokers and showed vaping is much better for blood vessels, reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks reported The Guardian.
Professor Jacob George at the university and first author of the study said: “Switching from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes improves your vascular function within the period of a month, significantly.”
The analysis, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, examined the health data of three groups of people who had no signs of cardiovascular disease despite smoking 15 cigarettes or more a day.
Researchers conducted the trial for over two years, splitting the groups into 40 participants who did not want to quit cigarettes, 37 who did desire to kick their habit and used devices containing nicotine to help, and another 37 who swapped tobacco for e-cigarettes without nicotine.
Their blood vessel function was measured by noting artery diameter before a tight cuff was applied to their arm and comparing it with the size when it was released. They did this at the beginning of the analysis and one month later to see any change in results, with larger percentage differences showing healthier vessels.
The scientists determined there was little difference in blood vessel function for those who remained smoking tobacco. Conversely, the groups that swapped to vaping both demonstrated a 20 per cent increase in measurements, suggesting their blood vessel functions had improved over the month.
For both the group that vaped with nicotine and the unit that used e-cigarettes without nicotine, their blood vessels were halfway to returning to the size they would be if they had never smoked.
Typically, healthy non-smokers scored 7.7 per cent in the blood vessel diameter test, compared with smokers at 5.5 per cent, and those who switched to e-cigarettes who achieved a result of 6.7 per cent.
According to the findings, there was a 1.2 percentage point improvement in artery diameter on average for those who quit smoking in favour of vaping. Should these former smokers continue swapping tobacco cigarettes for electronic ones, they could lower their risk of cardiovascular problems by even more.
Professor George added this study is very important for vapers, with the BBC quoting him as saying: “We now have clear evidence [e-cigarettes] are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.”
The academic also noted the impact is greater for women who switch to vaping compared with men. Furthermore, the longer they gave up tobacco cigarettes for, the more profound the improvements in their blood vessel function was.
Professor Jeremy Pearson from the British Heart Foundation, which funded the trial, also commented on the results, saying: “It shows that there are effects on the vascular system within a month, which mean that your vascular health improves if you are a smoker and switch to vaping.”
It is studies like this that help encourage smokers to quit their habit for good, hoping to improve their wellbeing in the long-run, knowing that tobacco cigarettes are linked to serious health problems.
According to the NHS, these include cardiovascular issues like heart attacks and strokes, stomach ulcers, skin and bone deterioration, poor brain function, gum disease, and reduced reproduction and fertility. It is also linked with a large number of cancers, including lung, throat, kidney, stomach, lips, tongue, voice box and gullet tumours. In fact, 84 per cent of deaths from lung cancer are caused by smoking.
A recent study from Cancer Research UK and University College London (UCL) found between 50,700 and 69,930 smokers ditched cigarettes in favour of electronic ones in 2017.
Indeed, as more people began to use vape kits in 2011, the number of people who successfully quit increased.
Lead author of the study Dr Emma Beard of UCL’s Division of Psychology and Language Sciences said: “This study builds on population surveys and clinical trials that find e-cigarettes can help smokers to stop. England seems to have found a sensible balance between regulation and promotion of e-cigarettes.”
She noted that they are predominantly favoured by smokers who are “using them to try to stop smoking or to cut down the amount they smoke”.
This latest research that shows a clear connection between cardiovascular health improvement and switching from smoking to vaping could encourage more smokers to quit as well.