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New Study: Vaping is not bad for the heart, but one cigarette has immediate effects

For smokers who are still struggling to quit, a groundbreaking new study recently released by the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Kallithéa, Greece, indicates that smoking even one cigarette has immediate and damaging effects to the heart.  Meanwhile, vaping for a full seven minutes at a time has seemingly no effects whatsoever.

The study was led by cardiologist Dr. Konstantinos E Farsalinos. In the spirit of full disclosure, Farsalinos is a famously pro-vaping advocate who has conducted multiple e-cig studies on just about every conceivable topic from “vaping as a gateway top smoking” to “the percentage of doctors who recommend vaping as a smoking cessation tool.”   He has also called the recent attacks on his scientific community by anti-vaping activists “Academic McCarthyism.”


The latest foray into scientific vaping research is named Acute effects of using an electronic nicotine-delivery device (electronic cigarette) on myocardial function: comparison with the effects of regular cigarettes and is readily available for download in the online medical journal BMC Cardiovascular Disorders.

The guidelines of the Onassis vaping study

Dr. Farsalinos and his quad of research scientists solicited the help from a team of 81 volunteers to participate in a series of tests.  Only 76 participants completed the study, some of which were only-smokers and some of which were only-vapers. Throughout the course of the study, multiple heart functions were carefully monitored and measured both before and after the occurrence of smoking or vaping, depending on the participant.    

  • 36 smokers with an average age of 36 years old participated – 32 men and 4 women.
  • 40 vapers with an average age of 35 years old participated – 36 men, 4 women.
  • Smokers had a recorded daily rate of smoking at least 15 cigarettes per day for a minimum of 5 years.
  • Vapers were all former smokers with a recorded daily vaping rate for at least one month.
  • Smokers and vapers were sent to completely separate examination rooms during the study.
  • Smokers were asked to smoke a single cigarette while vapers were requested to vape for 7 minutes.
  • Vapers used the same vaping device and the same e-liquid of 7ml nicotine concentration.
  • Of the multitude heart functions measured both before and after the vaping or smoking, those include:
    • Myocardial performance index
    • Diastolic and Systolic BP
    • Standing Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
    • Left ventricle (LV) Diameter and mass index
    • Triglyceride, Glucose, and Cholesterol levels
    • Isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT)
    • IVRT corrected to heart rate (IVRTc)

According to the conclusory section of the published results, Dr. Konstantinos E Farsalinos and his team determined that vaping has essentially no adverse effects to the myocardial heart functions of any kind.  Meanwhile, the smokers experienced immediate changes in all measurable criteria simply after smoking a single 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."

"This study provides the first clinical evidence that electronic cigarettes have less acute adverse effects on myocardial function when compared to tobacco cigarettes."

While agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consistently maintain that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking, the Onassis study proves otherwise.  However, U.S. public health organizations are often notoriously slow to acknowledge scientific research conducted from outside the United States.  They have yet to agree with the 2015 study published by the UK Royal College of Physicians that indicates vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking. 


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