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10 Puffs Away from Heart Disease

Research claims to have found a link between vaping and heart disease.

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The Daily Mail luxuriated in calling the findings of a recent research paper “the incendiary truth” about electronic cigarettes. It is claimed it provides evidence to support other pieces of research, that vaping raises blood pressure and promotes a hardening of the arteries.

The study measured “endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and microvesicles (MVs) in healthy young volunteers following short-term exposure to inhalation of e-cigarette vapour (ECV) to determine vascular changes.” The main findings from the study were that EPCs increase in number significantly following ten puffs of a vaping device but the MVs numbers don’t appear to change.

One of the paper’s authors, Lukasz Antoniewicz said: “these results have to be interpreted with caution but nevertheless this is the first finding in human subjects that may show an impact of e-cigarettes on the vasculature”.

It’s a set of results that mirrors those found by the team when they carried out a similar exercise looking at traditional tobacco cigarettes. The team suggests that their results are not definitive, but they do believe the biomarkers they studied should feature in future research – to build up a more complete picture.

Professor John Britton pointed out: “We should not let studies rightly highlighting the potential dangers of e-cigarettes blind us to the fact that these devices are much, much safer than smoking tobacco. For a smoker, moving to e-cigarettes brings a huge health benefit.”

Urging balance and caution in the treatment of the findings of this study, Britton added: “Let's be clear: e-cigarettes are not harmless and we shouldn't be complacent. E-cigarette vapour contains toxic chemicals, and tiny particles that can harm lungs and blood vessels. But in terms of the harm they cause, they simply aren't in the same league as smoked tobacco.”

Balance is not something anybody can expect from Martin McKee, the outspoken public health ‘expert’. While he may grudgingly accept in passing that vaping is a bit safer than smoking, he also contends: “using e-cigs actually reduces the chance of a smoker quitting tobacco”.

For McKee, this report simply adds to his current fears: “the evidence that is accumulating causes me very considerable concern. For a start, nicotine is more dangerous than previously thought. The flavourings in e-cigs (usually food additives) might have been tested for safety in terms of ingestion though the gut, but taking them in through the lungs after heating is completely different.”

The Scottish Sun quote Professor Joep Perk, a heart specialist and spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology, as saying: “It really surprises me that so little vapour from an e-cigarette is needed to start the heart disease ball rolling. It’s worrying that one e-cigarette can trigger such a response.”

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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