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Can Vaping Affect Your Heart?

Published 17 May 2022, Updated 9 April 2024

Can Vaping Affect Your Heart?

Can Vaping Affect Your Heart?

Yes - Vaping can and does affect the heart. Vaping is a tool used to deliver nicotine to the body and the effects of nicotine have long been studied by the scientific community. It is known to stiffen blood vessels, causing an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, potentially leading to cardiovascular diseases in the long term.

What is not known amongst the scientific community is how the other vape liquid components vapourised during vaping (VG, PG and flavourings) affect the heart and other parts of the human body.

The effects of smoking on the heart are well known, however, as the vaping industry is still relatively young, there hasn't been much scientific research conducted into the effects on the body, when compared to smoking. The impact of smoking on the heart is well known and has long been established throughout the scientific medical literature.

As cigarettes deliver a whole heap of chemicals to the body, E-cigarettes also deliver oxidants, toxic metals, and potentially toxic carbonyls to the body. All of these have been associated with cardiovascular disease.

Nicotine (the active chemical in cigarettes) causes blood vessels to constrict (get smaller), which causes a spike in blood pressure and, therefore, an increase in heart rate, leading to severe and fatal cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular diseases.

Similar to cigarettes, scientific studies have shown that vaping also causes increases in pulse wave velocity (which is a measurement in arterial stiffness), which can lead to a rise in blood pressure as the heart must work harder to pump blood around the body, resulting in an increased heart rate. This overtime may lead to cardiovascular-related diseases in the future.

Vaping also causes an increase in aortic pulse pressure. Pulse pressure is the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Therefore aortic pulse pressure is the pressure within the aorta (the main blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body).

Further studies have shown that vaping can cause endothelial cells (cells that line blood vessels and the heart) to become dysfunctional. These cells play vital roles in the pathogenesis (origin and development) of cardiovascular diseases, this, however, was less pronounced when compared to smoking a cigarette.

While there have been studies showing the negative impacts of vaping on the cardiovascular system, there have also been studies showing that vaping had no immediate effects on blood circulation, myocardial function or blood vessel stiffness.

It is important to remember that the scientific community has not conducted as much research into the effects of vaping as it has done when compared to smoking. As vaping is still new, it is certain that more research will be undertaken on the short term and long term impact on the body and looking in detail at all the different components of vaping.

Learn more with our articles do vapes keep you awake and does vaping dry out your throat?

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