Compared to smoking, vaping dramatically improves hear functions says scientists

A news story currently circulating in mainstream media is engaging in fear-mongering tactics by claiming that the flavored e-liquids used in vaping can or may damage cardiovascular cells.  The source of this misleading information is a research papers published on Memorial day in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology which provides absolutely zero definitive findings.  While no reputable researcher will ever claim that electronic cigarettes are 100% risk free, they do overwhelmingly agree that vapor products are as much as 95 percent less harmful than smoking.

News stories with an anti-vaping bias such as the one posted by CNN are primarily designed to scare teenagers into avoiding future experimentation with vaping and juuling.  While this is a noble cause that most vape enthusiasts largely support, the intentional spreading of half-truths and anti-vaping propaganda can produce the same adverse effects on adult smokers trying to quit.  What most of these articles fail to mention is that – compared to smoking – e-cigs greatly improve myocardial functions overall. 

Vaping and the heart:  The Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center study

Dr. Konstantinos E Farsalinos is a world-class cardiologist and researcher at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Kallithéa, Greece.  Together with his examination team, Farsalinos has conducted multiple studies and clinical trials focusing on vaping and the heart, some of which date back as far as 2014.  One such paper is entitled Acute effects of using an electronic nicotine-delivery device (electronic cigarette) on myocardial function: comparison with the effects of regular cigarettes (BMC Cardiovascular Disorders).

The experimentation process involved the participation of 76 volunteers:  40 regular vapers and 36 daily smokers.  The smoking group consisted of people with histories of tobacco use of at least five years and with an average daily intake of fifteen cigarettes or higher.  The vaping group consisted of only former smokers who had already transitioned completely to vaping for at least one-month.  All vapers were then asked to vape the very same medium-strength e-liquid of 7ml nicotine concentration.  The mixture of male and female participants of both groups had an age range of 30-41 years approximately.

Related Article:   Public health expert blasts AHA for claiming vaping is ‘just as dangerous’ as smoking

Throughout the clinical trial, participants of both groups were asked to come to the laboratory where various biomarkers were measured before, during, and after engaging in either smoking or vaping.  To avoid cross contamination, separate “smoking-only” and “vaping only” rooms were assigned.  Examples of biomarkers measured included average heart rates, diastolic and systolic blood pressure measurements, left ventricle diameter and mass index, glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, Isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT), and IVRT corrected to heart rate (IVRTc).

What the Farsalinos team discovered is that the vaping-only group exhibited no significant negative effects to the numerous myocardial functions being measured.  The smoking group, however, began to display almost immediate negative consequences after smoking only a single combustible tobacco cigarette.

"This is the first study to examine the acute effects of electronic cigarette use on myocardial function. No adverse effects on LV [left ventricular] myocardial function were observed after using electronic cigarette with nicotine-containing liquid for 7 minutes. On the contrary, significant changes in diastolic function parameters were found after smoking 1 tobacco cigarette."
“Although acute smoking causes a delay in myocardial relaxation, electronic cigarette use has no immediate effects. Electronic cigarettes’ role in tobacco harm reduction should be studied intensively in order to determine whether switching to electronic cigarette use may have long-term beneficial effects on smokers’ health.”

Smokers searching online for information about vaping should be overly cautious when choosing the articles on which they eventually want to base their decisions.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently enraged by the escalating numbers of underage vapers, a large percentage of which are experimenting with Juul products.  Vaping advocacy groups are also concerned with teen vaping, but their primary objective is to provide reputable scientific evidence showcasing the many health advantage for adult smokers trying to quit by switching through vaping.

Always consider the full picture when reading mainstream media news stories.  If the article fails to mention the statistical comparisons to smoking, then it is probably worth discounting. 

Related Article:  The second-hand vape debate: E-cig vapor is 99% less carcinogenic than cigarette smoke

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