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No switching to vaping doesn’t cause heart attacks. It improves cardio health.

A newly circulating report out of the University of Kansas misleadingly claims that vaping is linked to increased risks of heart attacks and depression.  Both counts have already been disputed overwhelmingly by reputable scientists through multiple peer-reviewed research studies.

Bogus studies like these are unfortunately all too common these days as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other pro-tobacco lobbyist groups continue to engage in anti-vaping rhetoric.  Researchers eager to make a name for themselves in the mainstream media often published clinical trials which are specifically designed to produce attention-grabbing results that are anti-vaping in nature.

Related Article: Breaking: FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb resigns! Vaping rejoices!

The University of Kansas study is a prime example of scientific manipulation.  The study entitled E-cigarettes linked to heart attacks, coronary artery disease and depression (Science Daily) implies that anyone who vapes has a 34 percent increased risk of a future heart attack and a 25 percent increased chance of developing coronary disease.  It also suggests that vapers are 55 percent more likely to develop depression or anxiety disorders.  

The trouble with the University of Kansas vaping study

The Kansas researchers claim to have evaluated nearly 100,000 e-cigarette users between the years 2014 and 2017. The sheer number itself seems highly unlikely.  However, the co-authors of the study also fail to make a clear distinction between participating vapers who are also former smokers and vapers who have never engaged in smoking at all.  In fact, the researchers claim outright that the 34 percent with increased risks of heart attacks is related directly to non-smokers who now vape recreationally.

“When the risk of heart attack increases by 34% in comparison to non-smokers, I wouldn’t want my patients nor family members to vape.”
 
-Lead author Dr. Mohinder Vindhyal via World of Buzz
 

Here’s the trouble. Vaping was never designed for never-smokers.  It’s intended use is for tobacco harm reduction caused by smoking tar-filled, highly carcinogenic, combustible tobacco cigarettes.   Why didn’t the UK researchers focus on the corollary comparisons between smokers and vapers instead?  Because the research clearly indicates that vaping is between 95-99 percent less harmful than vaping.  The study would have produced essentially no new, earthshattering headlines.

Related Article: Research shows switching to vaping significantly improves myocardial functions

Another problem with the UK study is that the co-authors never make clear whether the cardiovascular damage occurred before or after the vaping was started by the thousands of participants.  This failure to document these key scientific details seems intentional at best or negligent at worst.  Either way, the UK study is undeniably unreliable.

As far back as 2015, Great Britain’s’ public health agency equivalent to FDA in America -  Public Health England (PHE) –published detailed scientific findings documenting that vaping is about 95 percent less harmful than vaping.     Months prior in late 2014, a team of Greek scientists led by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos published the results of a comparative vaping versus smoking study surrounding cardiovascular health.  The latter document 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).

Farsalinos vaping study debunks UK research

The Farsalinos study evaluated a smaller, more believable control group of 81 participants, all of which were daily smokers.  About half of them were then asked to switch to vaping.  No dual use was allowed.  As the experiment progressed, the researchers periodically measured and evaluated several biomarkers of each participant relating to myocardial functions including the following.

  • Cardiovascular performance index
  • Isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT) corrected for heart rate
  • Left Ventricle (LV) Mass Index (MI) and diameter
  • Standing Heart Rate
  • Blood Pressure (Diastolic and Systolic)
  • Progressive differences in cholesterol, glucose, and triglyceride levels

What the Greek scientists determined is that switching to vaping produces substantially less adverse effects on the cardiovascular system compared to smoking.  Perhaps even more noteworthy, the scientists also identified that the negative effects of smoking are immediately detectable after smoking only a single combustible 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."

The University of Kansas story is simply not based in scientific fact.  Its appearance in social media feeds also closely follows a publication of just last month out of George Washington University making similar claims.  That, too, was immediately debunked by academics around the world. 

Related Article: Tobacco harm reduction expert debunks study claiming vaping causes heart attacks

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