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Vaping is Better for the Heart

Vaping is Better for the Heart: Bristol-based researchers carry out research that supports vaping as a harm reduction tool.

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“There’s not enough research,” they say. “We don’t know its effects,” they add. Well, there’s always room for more studies to broaden our understanding beyond the estimated ‘at least 95% safer’, and researchers at the University of Bristol have done just that. One in the eye for those opposed to vaping, the team conclude the alternative to smoking has beneficial effects on heart cells.

The research concludes: “The use of e-cigarettes as a substitute for conventional cigarettes is likely to reduce immediate tobacco-related harm, at least with respect to cardiovascular harms.”

The scientists at the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit discovered significant differences in the manner in which heart cells respond to vape when compared to the effects of cigarette smoke. They analysed how smoke and vape impacted upon coronary artery endothelial cells and published the results for peer review in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal.

Marcus R. Munafò conceived the study, drafted the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript for submission, he said: “The past few years have seen a rapid growth in the use of e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine via inhaled aerosol. It’s thought that e-cigarettes are unlikely to be as harmful as conventional cigarettes, but little data exists to show their relative harms, or the long-term effects of e-cigarette use. Therefore, research into these biological effects is critical. Our study looked at the stress response in heart cells in response to cigarette smoke and e-cigarette aerosol.”

There is a problem with in-vitro studies in that they do not replicate real world usage, but pharma-funded researchers in California have run comparable but negatively bias studies so at least this offers balance. The team produced extracts from cigarette smoke and ecig vapour that were then passed through a culture of cells. These cells were then analysed, Munafò and his colleagues looked at the gene expression patterns looking for evidence of damage.

“We found the cells showed a stress response from the cigarette smoke extract,” he said, “but not from the electronic cigarette aerosol extract. This result suggests tobacco smokers may be able to reduce immediate tobacco-related harm by switching from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes.”

They noted that reading fluctuations between their tests and the ones from California might be explained due to a different medium being used to create the extract or variations in battery output voltage. They added that although the juice itself may be toxic to heart cells it does not mean that the same situation will exist when it is atomised and inhaled orally.

They advocate further investigation into this subject area and make recommendations as to improvements for future studies.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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