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Study shows vaping improves heart functions, but one cigarette has adverse effects

For smokers who are trying to kick the habit, millions are now switching to vaping as a form of tobacco harm reduction.  When most people first decide to make the switch, it is not uncommon to engage in dual usage, at least in the beginning stages.  And according to recent polling conducted by the E-cigintelligence agency, approximately 75 percent of American vapers are dual users of both vaping devices and combustible tobacco products.

However, recent research indicates that smoking even a single cigarette can produce adverse effects on the heart.  Meanwhile, the same report suggests that vaping can help smokers regulate or even improve heart functions and regulate blood pressure. 


The study was led by world-class cardiologist Dr. Konstantinos E Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Kallithéa, Greece.  Farsalinos has spent much of his professional life researching the possible health benefits of vaping and is often the first to publicly refute bogus research published by anti-vaping institutions. 

One of his more recent projects involving the effects of vaping on myocardial heart functions is entitled, Acute effects of using an electronic nicotine-delivery device (electronic cigarette) on myocardial function: comparison with the effects of regular cigarettes.  The full report is readily available via the medical journal BMC Cardiovascular Disorders.

Overview of the Farsalinos vaping study

The research team began by recruiting 81 volunteers, consisting of both smokers and vapers. Throughout the course of the experiment, the scientists measured numerous heart functions of each participant as they either vaped or smoked.  A general overview of the study includes the following criteria.

  • Of the original 81 volunteers, 76 successfully completed the full study.
  • Of those 76 individuals, 40 were classified as vapers.
    • Their median age was 35 years.
    • 36 were men.
    • 4 were women.
    • All were former smokers who had made the switch to daily vaping while remaining smoke-free for a period of at least 30-days.
  • Of those 76-member sample group, 36 were classified as smokers.
    • Their median age was 36 years.
    • 32 were men.
    • 4 were women.
    • Their average daily cigarette consumption was 15 per day for a minimum of five consecutive years
  • The smokers were sent to a different laboratory than the vapers, to avoid possible cross contamination.
  • Vapers were asked to vape using the same device filled with the same e-liquid consisting of a nicotine concentration of 7 ml.
  • Vapers were asked to vape for seven consecutive minutes. The smokers were asked to smoke a single cigarette.
  • All smokers were given the same brand of cigarette purchased from a local retailer.
  • Both before and after each trail, several myocardial functions were monitored, including the following:
    • Myocardial performance index
    • Diastolic Blood Pressure
    • Systolic Blood Pressure
    • Standing Heart Rate
    • Isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT)
    • IVRT corrected to heart rate (IVRTc)
    • Left ventricle (LV) Diameter and mass index
    • Triglycerides
    • Cholesterol
    • Glucose levels

As the results of each trail were evaluated, Farsalinos and his team of scientists discovered that the vaping group experienced no significant changes in any of the related myocardial functions.  On the other hand, the smoking groups experienced immediate adverse effects in nearly all categories. 

"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."

A primary objective of the vaping study was to provide scientific research that refutes prior claims by public health agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) that vaping is just as dangerous for the heart as smoking.  The Farsalinos provides definitive proof that this is simply not the case. 


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