Is Vaping Safe? It Can Cause Higher Risk of Heart Attack, According to a New Study.
There are many questions about vaping. Is it safe? Does my teen do it? How does it affect my health? While we have much left to learn about the safety of e-cigarettes, new research shows that vaping can take a serious toll on your heart by increasing your risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
E-cigarettes (also called vape pens, electric smokers or JUULs) are electronic devices that heat e-cigarette liquids (also called juice, e-juice, vape juice or oil) into a vapor that can be inhaled. Using an e-cigarette to inhale the vapor is called “vaping,” and many people who vape also use normal cigarettes.
In the new study, researchers found that people who use both normal cigarettes and e-cigarettes have multiple increased risks of heart-related complications:
- 59% increased risk of chest pain or heart attack
- 40% increased risk of heart disease
- 71% increased risk of stroke
There is also an increased risk of health complications if you use e-cigarettes alone:
- Risk of heart attack increases by 25%
- Risk of stroke increases by 29%
Are E-Cigarettes a Safe Smoking Alternative?
While the debate about the safety of vaping is ongoing, this new research shows that e-cigarette usage can seriously damage your heart’s health. There are other known health risks of using e-cigarettes:
Exposure to dangerous chemicals in e-cigarette liquids. Many e-cigarette liquids have some of the same ingredients found in normal cigarettes. These ingredients include nicotine, volatile organic compounds and chemicals that cause cancer. When used in cigarettes, nicotine is known to constrict blood vessels, which is especially harmful for people at risk for heart health issues.
Health risks for teens. While this study focuses on adults over 18, many e-cigarette users are teens. The CDC states that around 1 in 5 high school students reported they had used an e-cigarette within the past month. E-cigarettes can cause multiple health issues for teenagers:
- The nicotine in e-cigarette liquids negatively impacts teen brain development.
- Teens can form an addiction to nicotine more easily than adults.
- Studies link vaping with the use of other tobacco-based products, including normal cigarettes, in teens.
I’m Quitting Smoking for My Heart Health – Should I Use E-Cigarettes to Help Me?
It’s extremely important to quit smoking, especially if you have heart disease or are at risk of heart health issues. However, opinions differ on whether e-cigarettes are safe to use as a tool to help you quit.
If you have questions about how to quit smoking, the first step you should take is to reach out to your health care provider. They can give you advice for quitting based on your personal health needs. Additionally, the American Heart Association recommends using tried-and-true methods of quitting, such as quitting with the help of a support group.
If you currently vape, consider quitting. Many health care professionals recommend that people at higher risk for heart issues should not vape to protect heart health. If you have any questions or concerns, remember that your provider is there to support you every step of the way on your journey toward heart health.
About the Author
Christopher End, MD practices Cardiology and Invasive Cardiology with Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare at Burlington