Research shows switching to vaping significantly improves myocardial functions

Smokers may be surprised to learn that vaping does not cause any discernable damage the heart, but smoking a single cigarette has immediate negative effects.  According to recently published research, switching to vaping from combustible tobacco offers measurable improvements in nearly all myocardial functions, including blood pressure, heart rates, glucose and triglyceride levels, and even cholesterol levels.  This collective group of heart-related biomarkers is often particularly noteworthy among older smokers trying to get healthy.

While many anti-vaping advocates often attempt to muddy the waters of public opinion by claiming that vaping is just as bad as smoking or that “more research is needed” before public health experts can definitively endorse vaping over smoking, the truth is much less confusing.  As early as 2015, Public Health England (PHE) – the UK’s equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – published detailed documentation in support of vaping.   Three years ago, PHE claimed that vaping is about 95 percent less harmful than smoking.  Still, the FDA refuses to acknowledge that the PHE report even exists, much less agree with its findings. 

Overview of the myocardial vaping study

Thankfully, scientists from around the world are still conducting reputable and vital research regarding the health risks associated with vaping.  One such group of scientists is led by Dr. Konstantinos E. Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Kallithéa, Greece.  In the research paper entitled Acute effects of using an electronic nicotine-delivery device (electronic cigarette) on myocardial function: comparison with the effects of regular cigarettes published in the journal  BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, the Farsalinos team makes the following assertions.

“Although acute smoking inhalation caused a delay in LV myocardial relaxation in smokers, electronic cigarette use was found to have no such immediate effects in daily users of the device. This short-term beneficial profile of electronic cigarette compared to smoking, although not conclusive about its overall health-effects as a tobacco harm reduction product, provides the first evidence about the cardiovascular effects of this device. Since awareness and use of electronic cigarettes are continuously rising, more studies are urgently needed, focusing on the pathophysiological mechanisms of disease where smoking is implicated and ultimately on long-term effects. Such studies will provide additional scientific data to public health authorities so that they decide on the regulatory status of this product.”

To come to these conclusions, the scientists conducted a series of extensive tests involving a carefully selected group of 81 participants.  Some were vapers-only.  Others were regular daily smokers-only.  And the control group consisted of never-smokers/never vapers.  Dual users were prohibited from the trial.

In fact, during the experiment, several of the 81 participants were caught engaging in dual usage.  They were immediately expelled from the study, and by its conclusion, only 76 of the original members remained. 36 smokers consisting of 32 men and 4 women crossed the experimental finish line, and 40 vapers consisting of 36 men and 4 women also completed the trial.  Their average age was about 35-36.

Related Article:  Switching to vaping promotes healthy gut microbiota, says pilot study

During regularly schedule times, each participant was asked to either vape or smoke in a controlled laboratory environment.  Vapers vaped in one lab, and smokers smoked in another – just to avoid any possibility of cross contamination.  Throughout the project, the scientists monitored and evaluated the myocardial functions of each participant, including the following.

  • IVRT corrected to heart rate (IVRTc)
  • Left Ventricle (LV) Diameter and Mass Index (MI)
  • Isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT)
  • Myocardial performance index
  • Diastolic and Systolic Blood Pressure
  • Standing Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol, Glucose, and Triglyceride Levels

The scientists also note that each vaper was provided the same vaping devices with the same e-liquids of identical 7ml nicotine concentration levels.  While the vapers were asked to vape for a full seven minutes, the smokers were asked to smoke an entire cigarette in their separate-but-equal laboratory environments.  What the Farsalinos team discovered is that the vaping-only participants did not register any significant changes in myocardial functions.  But the smokers experienced nearly instantaneous negative effects – even after only one 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."

For smokers who want to dramatically improve their health, a switch to vaping should not be ruled out – according to this recent study.  Most addiction experts agree.  It’s not the nicotine in tobacco cigarettes that kills.  It’s the tar and toxins associated with combustible tobacco.  Meanwhile, the e-liquids used in vaping are now and have always been 100% tobacco-free. 

Related Article:  53% of Americans mistakenly think nicotine is carcinogenic, says new study

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