Udayavni Special

Nicotine-free e-cigarettes may damage blood vessels: Study


PTI, Aug 21, 2019, 4:38 PM IST

Washington: A single dose of e-cigarettes may be harmful to the body’s blood vessels — even when the vapour is entirely nicotine-free, a study claims.

Smoking e-cigarettes, also called vaping, has been marketed as a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes and is rising in popularity among non-smoking adolescents, researchers said.

To study the short-term impacts of vaping, the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in the US performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams on 31 healthy, non-smoking adults before and after vaping a nicotine-free e-cigarette.

Comparing the pre- and post-MRI data, the single episode of vaping resulted in reduced blood flow and impaired endothelial function in the large (femoral) artery that supplies blood to the thigh and leg, according to the study published in the journal Radiology.

The endothelium, which lines the inside surface of blood vessels, is essential to proper blood circulation.

Once the endothelium is damaged, arteries thicken and blood flow to the heart and the brain can be cut off, resulting in heart attack or stroke.

“While e-cigarette liquid may be relatively harmless, the vaporisation process can transform the molecules — primarily propylene glycol and glycerol — into toxic substances,” said Felix W Wehrli, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Beyond the harmful effects of nicotine, we’ve shown that vaping has a sudden, immediate effect on the body’s vascular function, and could potentially lead to long-term harmful consequences,” said Wehrli.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that convert liquid into aerosol, which is inhaled into the user’s lungs.

Typically, the liquid contains addictive nicotine, as well as flavours.

More than 10 million adults in the US use e-cigarettes, and vaping has become especially popular among teenagers, researchers said.

They examined the impact of an e-cigarette that contained propylene glycol and glycerol with tobacco flavouring, but no nicotine, which study participants took 16, three-second puffs from.

To evaluate vascular reactivity, the group constricted the vessels of the thigh with a cuff and then measured how quickly the blood flowed after its release.

Using a multi-parametric MRI procedure, researchers scanned the femoral artery and vein in the leg before and after each vaping episode to see how vascular function changed.

They then performed a statistical analysis to determine group differences in vascular function before and after vaping.

The team observed, on average, a 34 per cent reduction in the femoral artery’s dilation.

E-cigarettes exposure also led to a 17.5 per cent reduction in peak blood flow, a 20 per cent reduction in venous oxygen, and a 25.8 per cent reduction in blood acceleration after the cuff release — the speed at which the blood returned to the normal flow after being constricted.

These findings suggest that vaping can cause significant changes to the inner lining of blood vessels, said study lead author Alessandra Caporale, a post-doctoral researcher at University of Pennsylvania.

“E-cigarettes are advertised as not harmful, and many e-cigarette users are convinced that they are just inhaling water vapour,” Caporale said.

“But the solvents, flavourings and additives in the liquid base, after vapourisation, expose users to multiple insults to the respiratory tract and blood vessels,” he said.

Wehrli noted that they observed these striking changes after the participants (all of whom never smoked previously) used an e-cigarette a single time.

More research is needed to address the potential long-term adverse effects of vaping on vascular health, but he predicts that e-cigarettes are potentially much more hazardous than previously assumed.

Earlier this year, his research group found that acute exposure to e-cigarettes causes vascular inflammation.

“I would warn young people to not even get started using e-cigarettes. The common belief is that the nicotine is what is toxic, but we have found that dangers exist, independent of nicotine,” Wehrli said.

“Clearly if there is an effect after a single use of an e-cigarette, then you can imagine what kind of permanent damage could be caused after vaping regularly over years,” he said.

Top News

Amid border standoff with China, PM Modi holds meeting with NSA, CDS and 3 Service Chiefs

Truecaller records of 4.75 cr Indians on sale for Rs 75,000

SC takes suo motu cognizance of miseries of migrant labourers

Covid-19 Lockdown: Mumbai’s GSB Samiti postpones Ganpati festival celebration

India’s COVID-19 tally reaches 1.45 lakh; Odisha, Assam and Bihar see rapid increase

Show strong leadership to tackle COVID-19: Fadnavis to Maharashtra CM

No major side-effects of HCQ, should be continued as preventive treatment for COVID-19: ICMR

Related Articles More

5 healthy skincare habits to follow for healthy skin

ICMR study reconfirms COVID-19 spreads faster among close contacts

Social isolation increases risk of heart attacks, strokes: Study

High doses of vitamin D supplementation cannot prevent, treat COVID-19: Study

AI infers people’s personality from selfies better than humans: Study

MUST WATCH

Tragedy and chaos: Former MIA director recalls Mangalore Air Crash

Lockdown relaxation: Long queues outside liquor stores in Mangaluru

Indian Coast Guard thank Covid-19 warriors

#WeFeed – Feeding stray animals during lockdown!

Mysuru-origin doctor honoured with parade for her service in treating COVID-19 patients in US

Latest Additions

Amid border standoff with China, PM Modi holds meeting with NSA, CDS and 3 Service Chiefs

Truecaller records of 4.75 cr Indians on sale for Rs 75,000

SC takes suo motu cognizance of miseries of migrant labourers

Covid-19 Lockdown: Mumbai’s GSB Samiti postpones Ganpati festival celebration

India’s COVID-19 tally reaches 1.45 lakh; Odisha, Assam and Bihar see rapid increase

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.