E-Cigs: Bad for Your Heart?
By Editorial Staff
While electronic cigarettes have been touted as a tool to help chronic tobacco smokers quit, their use has quickly spread far beyond the smoking population to nonsmoking adults and teen / adolescents. The problem: Increasing evidence suggests e-cigs, even those without nicotine, have health risks and addiction potential similar to traditional tobacco-based products.
Case in point: A study in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology suggests some of the chemical flavors used to sweeten e-cigarettes (and to appeal to a wider audience, including children, according to critics) can damage endothelial cells, which line blood vessels and the heart. Researchers tested nine popular e-cig flavorings – banana, butter, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, mint, strawberry, vanilla and “burnt” – and found all nine damaged cells at high concentrations; while five (vanilla, mint, cinnamon, clove, and burnt) also impaired nitric oxide production, potentially increasing heart disease risk.
It's important to note that even e-cigarettes absent of nicotine still feature these chemical flavorings. Research also indicates that people – especially children – who try flavored e-cigarettes are more likely to try traditional cigarettes. So while it's unclear whether nicotine / tobacco influences the circulatory system more, less or the same as these flavorings, one thing is perfectly clear: neither is good for you. Click here to learn more about e-cigarettes, and why you would do well to steer clear of them.
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