During the European Respiratory Society International Congress held in September, several new studies on e-cigarettes and their effects on health were presented.
One such study dealt with vaping and the effect on artery stiffness. Researchers already know that smoking can contribute to atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. A new study presented at the Congress showed vaping can also cause “stiffening in the arteries,” as well as a higher blood pressure leading to speculation that vaping can produce the same health issues as smoking.
The small study of 15 young people were asked to vape for 30 minutes. Some individuals were asked to vape with nicotine in the liquid while the others vaped without nicotine. In measurements taken at two and four hour intervals after vaping researchers discovered a “significant” increase in blood pressure.
Those who vaped with nicotine in the liquid also presented with additional “arterial stiffness” and an increased heart rate although these effects were just temporary. But smoking cigarettes also has the same temporary effects on arteries. And since it has already been shown that smoking and being exposed to secondhand smoke causes “a permanent increase in arterial stiffness,” it lead the researchers in this study to speculate that the same exposures to e-cigarettes with nicotine will cause the same reaction in the arteries.
Another study that was presented was the topic of using e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. A Swedish survey of 30,000 people found smokers are more likely to use e-cigarettes versus nonsmokers or former smokers. If e-cigarettes were used for smoking cessation, more former smokers than current smokers would be using them. It was also noted that those who used both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes “were more likely to experience respiratory symptoms” versus those who only used one smoking product or those who were nonsmokers.
Out of all the studies presented on e-cigarettes, the more controversial one has to do with the liquids used in the devices. Researchers looked at 122 of the most popular brands of e-liquids sold in nine European countries. “Every single liquid contained at least one substance with some level of health risk,” according to the researchers. The chemical ingredients used caused respiratory irritation.
While e-cigarettes are currently marketed as a safe alternative to traditional smoking, in reality it is too soon to give a stamp of approval on a product whose long-term effects have yet to be determine. It is important for teens to understand there are risks involved when using e-cigarettes and any other tobacco product.
The Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course is one way for those in a school setting to educate students on all aspects of tobacco products so students can make an informed decision regarding tobacco/nicotine products. Participants in any Florida school district can take the online course to receive either 30- or 60-points towards the renewal of their certificate. Click the link below to learn how you can teach your students about tobacco while at the same time earning points to renew your certificate.