Dual use of electronic and regular cigarettes increases heart attack risk more than either smoking or “vaping” alone, according to a recent study.
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are promoted as being safer than regular cigarettes, though the risks are largely unknown because research on them, especially long term, is lacking. What’s more, e-cigarettes keep people addicted to nicotine, and many people who vape continue to smoke cigarettes, at least sometimes.
It’s well known that smoking tobacco greatly increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. But e-cigarettes pose cardiovascular risks as well. Like smoking, they produce compounds (notably ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds, nitrosamines, and heavy metals) that can increase inflammation, free radicals, and blood clotting and impair the flexibility of blood vessels-all of which increase cardiovascular risk.
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that people who both smoke and vape are at higher coronary risk than those who just smoke or just vape. Using data from almost 70,000 people, researchers at UC San Francisco found that daily vaping by itself nearly doubled the risk of having a heart attack, while daily smoking nearly tripled it. But daily users of both electronic and regular cigarettes had a nearly quadrupled risk of heart attack compared to people who used neither product.
More bad vaping news: E-cigarettes are often promoted as a way of quitting smoking, but research on this has been inconsistent. In January, a widely publicized British study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that they can indeed help more smokers quit than nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges, though the successful quitters became hooked on e-cigarettes and thus face as-yet-unknown long-term risks.