How does vaping affect your heart?
Preliminary research suggests vaping poses risks to heart health.
The authors of a 2019 review point out that e-liquid aerosols contain particulates, oxidizing agents, aldehydes, and nicotine. When inhaled, these aerosols most likely affect the heart and circulatory system.
A 2018 report from the National Academies Press (NAP) found significant evidence that taking a puff from a nicotine e-cigarette triggers an increase in heart rate.
The authors also described moderate evidence suggesting that taking a puff from an e-cigarette increases blood pressure. Both could affect heart health over the long term.
A 2019 study assessed data from a nationwide survey of nearly 450,000 participants and found no significant association between e-cigarette use and heart disease.
What are the e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that can look like a real cigarette or pen. Some with refillable tanks look a bit different. There are hundreds of brands, and they’re sometimes marketed as a way to get your nicotine fix without the danger of cigarettes.
The e-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create a water vapor that you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. While we don’t know exactly what chemicals are in e-cigarettes.
Is Vaping Better Than Smoking?
Many people think vaping is less harmful than smoking. While it’s true that e-cigarette aerosol doesn’t include all the contaminants in tobacco smoke, it still isn’t safe. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
- Most e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm the developing brains of teens, kids and fetuses in women who vape while pregnant. Some types expose users to even more nicotine than traditional cigarettes.
- In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette vapor includes potentially harmful substances such as diacetyl (a chemical linked to serious lung disease), cancer-causing chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. Users breathe in these toxic contaminants, and non-users nearby risk secondhand exposure.
- The liquid used in e-cigarettes can be dangerous, even apart from its intended use. Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing or absorbing the liquid through their skin or eyes.
- E-cigarettes have been linked to thousands of cases of serious lung injury, some resulting in death. While the exact cause is still not confirmed, the CDC recommends that people not use e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes’ biggest threat to public health is that the increasing popularity of vaping may “re-normalize” smoking, which has been declining for years. Reversing the hard-won gains in the global effort to curb smoking would be catastrophic. Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death and is responsible for 480,000 American lives lost each year.