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Scientists say vaping reduces heart rate, systolic, diastolic blood pressure

Scientists have known for decades that smoking can exacerbate the symptoms of hypertension, but can vaping be a viable alternative?  According to the research team of Farsalinos and Polosa, e-cigs show nearly instantaneous health benefits in reducing heart rate and both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

Many vaping enthusiasts may already be familiar with these two leaders of the medical community.  Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos is a world-class cardiac physician and research scientist from the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece.  And Dr. Richard Polosa from Italy’s University of Catania is a published author of numerous research papers related to smoking-related diseases and nicotine addiction.  When these two experts team up for a vape study, the results are nothing short of groundbreaking.

Overview of the Farsalinos and Polosa vaping study

The 2016 study is entitled Effect of continuous smoking reduction and abstinence on blood pressure and heart rate in smokers switching to electronic cigarettes.  The paper is published online via the Internal and Emergency Medicine journal and involves participants from a 2013 ECLAT study which focused on the success rates of vaping as a smoking cessation tool. 

    • The Farsalinos and Polosa study lasted for a full 52-weeks and involved 211 participants.
    • Participants of the study were divided into three different groups of high-, low-, and zero-nicotine vapers.
    • They were then reclassified again according to three additional variables:
      • Quitters: People who vape 100% of the time.
      • Reducers: People who reduced their smoking consumption by vaping approximately 50% of the time or more.
      • Failures: People who reduce their smoking consumption by vaping less than 50% of the time or with no significant reduction whatsoever.
  • Before, during, and after the study, the research team monitored three different biomarkers to determine possible changes or fluctuations. The biomarkers include:
    • Systolic blood pressure
    • Diastolic blood pressure
    • Heart rate
  • Each participant was given the same cigalike device consisting of three pieces and disposable cartridges.
  • 145 of the original 211 sample group were showing signs of hypertension at the beginning of the study.
  • 66 participants were observed to have elevated blood pressure and/or heart rates.

The majority of the participants who were not already exhibiting symptoms of hypertension at the study’s onset also did not experience significant changes in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, or heart rate throughout the course of the study.  However, this is also considered good news since the study seems to confirm that vaping does not elevate these biomarkers either.  Meanwhile, of the 66 participants already exhibiting signs of hypertension at the beginning of the research, each of them experienced significant decreases in each of the three areas of evaluation.



“When the same analysis was repeated in 66 subjects with elevated BP at baseline, a substantial reduction in systolic BP was observed at week 52 compared to baseline (132.4 ± 12.0 vs. 141.2 ± 10.5 mmHg, p < 0.001), with a significant effect found for smoking phenotype classification. After adjusting for weight change, gender and age, reduction in systolic BP from baseline at week 52 remains associated significantly with both smoking reduction and smoking abstinence. In conclusion, smokers who reduce or quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes may lower their systolic BP in the long term, and this reduction is apparent in smokers with elevated BP. The current study adds to the evidence that quitting smoking with the use of e-cigarettes does not lead to higher BP values, and this is independently observed whether e-cigarettes are regularly used or not.”

As is noted above, the research team of Farsalinos and Polosa tried to take into account as many variables as possible, making calculated adjustments in their scientific conclusions based on the weight, age, gender, and baseline levels of the three different biomarkers being measured.  Both authors have famously debunked numerous publications in the past, often funded by Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, the FDA, and the CDC, for allegedly using faulty scientific practices in their related research projects. Their dedication to detail is why these two medical experts are so highly regarded in the field of tobacco harm reduction worldwide. 



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