Several recent studies have highlighted the serious health risks associated with vaping. Because of how many young people have taken up the habit, lawmakers have worked to make it harder for minors to purchase e-cigarettes.
Now, researchers from the European Society of Cardiology are focusing on how consumers’ heart health can be at risk due to vaping. The researchers are still citing large numbers of young people using e-cigarettes, and the habit has been linked with an increased risk of blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart attacks, among other risks.
“Vaping is marketed towards teenagers and the tobacco industry uses celebrities to promote it as being healthier than smoking,” said researcher Maja-Lisa Løchen. “Action is urgently needed to halt the growing use in young people. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that e-cigarettes are harmful to health.”
Risks to heart health
Though the risks associated with vaping continue to be documented by experts, the researchers focused specifically on cardiovascular health for this report. Because so many young people are using e-cigarettes, the long-term effects of vaping are cause for concern. The researchers analyzed several recent studies to explore how vaping is negatively affecting consumers’ heart health.
While many were under the impression that vaping was healthier than traditional cigarettes, the researchers want to emphasize that this is not the case. Vaping can complicate heart health in countless ways. Ultimately, the consistent use of e-cigarettes can increase the risk of heart attack because vaping can lead to permanent damage to consumers’ blood vessels and arteries. The researchers say the habit can also increase the risk for blood clots.
However, the risks don’t always start out so drastic. Oftentimes, consumers first experience changes to heart rate or blood pressure, which can lead to other, more serious, complications over time. Recent studies have also highlighted the stress vaping can put on the lungs and the harm caused by the chemicals used in e-cigarettes.
Protecting consumers’ health
Moving forward, the researchers hope that future messaging about vaping is clear and that lawmakers do their part to enact measures that make it more difficult for young people to have access to e-cigarettes.
“E-cigarettes are a relatively new product and the long-term health effects are unknown,” said Løchen. “Now is the time for politicians and regulators to act -- with public health campaigns to increase awareness and legislation to halt uptake in young people.”