KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 – New research indicates that switching from traditional cigarettes to vaping products may bring positive changes to the heart of an adult smoker.
The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, indicated early measures of improved blood vessel health, such as “vascular stiffness,” within a month of switching from combustible cigarettes to vape.
“The ability of our blood vessels to widen and provide more flow when we need it has been linked to long-term outcomes,” explained Dr Rose Marie Robertson, deputy chief science and medical officer for the American Heart Association, according to CNN.
But that data is not specific to e-cigarettes, she cautioned: “We don’t have data proving the long-term safety of vaping.”
The research also saw those who switched over more completely to e-cigarettes, and those who had smoked for less than 20 years, saw greater improvements in their vascular function.
Women also saw better improvements, though it is not known why.
The authors noted that “female smokers face more health risks than male smokers do,” including greater risks for lung cancer and heart attack.
As the results did not depend on the presence of nicotine in the e-cigarettes, the authors hypothesised that “early improvement appears to be unrelated to the abstinence from nicotine but rather from other toxic material produced by combustion” in conventional cigarettes.
“The [new study’s] finding contradicts the findings of observational studies that find that people who vape are at higher risk of heart disease, because those studies are inevitably and irreversibly confounded by former smoking,” John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, said.
Robertson of the American Heart Association said “the big message … is that quitting combustible cigarettes is perhaps the most important thing you can do for your health.”
Britton and Robertson were not involved in the new study.