Do E-Cigarettes Pose a Cardiovascular Risk?
So, you finally took the big leap: You quit smoking. This is an enormous accomplishment, because it is now well understood that cigarettes are highly addictive and dangerous. When many attempt to quit smoking or stop smoking all together, they turn to electronic cigarettes, or “vapes” for help with the transition. This is due to the common misconception that E-cigarettes are a healthy or safe alternative to smoking. So what exactly are vapes, and how much risk do they pose for your cardiovascular health?
How Do E-Cigarettes Work?
The market for E-cigarettes is broad, including everything from large, clunky handheld gadgets to small thin ones meant to replicate the look and feel of a real cigarette. Electronic cigarettes are battery powered, and don’t produce any carcinogenic smoke or ash. Vapes are also made without added tar, pesticides or chemicals that regular cigarette tobacco includes. E-cigarettes work by converting liquid nicotine into vapor with a small coil inside that heats up. But what if these electronic devices actually increase your risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease?
According to a recent study conducted by UC San Francisco, daily use of vapes or e-cigarettes can double your risk of heart attack. This research was fairly conclusive and included 70,000 participants. One of the primary concerns addressed in this research was that people usually still smoke cigarettes alongside e-cigarette use. According to researchers, this practice compounds your risk. Dual use of electronic cigarettes and cigarette smoking is even more dangerous than using either alone. This suspicion has been present as early as March of 2017, when the USCF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education reported a 42 percent increase in heart attack risk with vape use.
Even more concerning is that vapes and electronic cigarettes appeal to younger adults and teenagers, which could give way to a new cycle of addiction for younger generations. According to some studies, the nicotine inhaled from vapes could hurt the body’s genetic repair mechanisms in the heart and lungs. While much research on this subject is still in early stages and could take years to fully develop, it’s important to address the misconception that vapes and electronic cigarettes are a fail safe alternative to smoking.
Quitting for Good
There are other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) techniques out there to help you quit smoking. Methods like nicotine patches and gum have been properly tested and have FDA approval. These products are readily available in drugstores, and prescription versions are even available from your doctor. These products are designed to wean you off nicotine in a productive way, while vapes and e-cigarettes actually supply even greater doses of nicotine than regular cigarettes do. Some people may unwittingly believe that vapes will help them quit smoking and find out that the method is counterproductive or even fuels their addiction more.
If you’re concerned about your heart health, talk to your cardiologist about your risk. An experienced physician can help you understand the diet and lifestyle changes for a better cardiovascular future. Because both cigarettes and nicotine itself increase your risk of heart disease, it’s important to discuss quitting. To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist near you, visit www.cvgcares.com today.