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Even a Single Episode of Vaping Affects Blood Vessels, Says Study

With the trend of vaping taking the world by storm, scientists and lawmakers have become especially wary about the potential effects of vaping.

Trending Desk

Updated:August 24, 2019, 5:26 PM IST
e cigarettes
(Photo: Reuters/Image for representation)

A new study now finds that vaping affects blood vessels even after a single use, even when the e-cigarette being used contains no nicotine. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.

According to a story published in Fox 7, with the trend of vaping taking the world by storm, scientists and lawmakers have become especially wary about the potential effects of vaping.

Speaking about the study, lead author Alessandra Caporale said, "E-cigarettes are advertised as not harmful, and many e-cigarette users are convinced that they are just inhaling water vapor."

However, Caporale adds, "The solvents, flavorings and additives in the liquid base, after vaporization, expose users to multiple insults to the respiratory tract and blood vessels.”

While earlier studies have focused heavily on the health effects of using nicotine filled e-cigarettes, the new study aimed to determine if there were any negative effects arising from the inhalation of aerosol alone.

Study researchers measured the effects of inhaling nicotine-free e cigarettes by performing MRIs on non-smoker participants before and after inhalation. Notably, they were looking for things like vascular reactivity and tone changes.

Scientists asked 31 non-smokers between the ages of 18 and 35 to take 16 three-second inhalations from a nicotine-free e-cigarette.

Researchers evaluated vascular reactivity by constricting the vessels of participants’ thigh with a cuff and then measuring how quickly blood flowed after the cuff was removed. The fermoral artery and leg vein were then scanned using MRI which recorded several before and after parameters following each vaping episode.

Notably, study authors found that even a solitary instance of vaping resulted in reduced blood flow and impaired endothelial function in the femoral artery, which delivers blood to the leg. Notably, they found that it resulted in reduced blood flow and impaired andothelial function in the femoral artery. They observed a reduction in dilation by 34 percent, decrease in peak blood flow by 17.5 percent, decrease in oxygen by 20 percent and a 28.5 decrease in blood acceleration.

Sepaking about the same, Felix W. Wehrli, the study's principal investigator said that while the e-cigarette liquid may in itself be harmless, "the vaporization process can transform the molecules — primarily propylene glycol and glycerol — into toxic substances." He further added that, "Vaping has a sudden, immediate effect on the body’s vascular function, and could potentially lead to long-term harmful consequences." This could include an increased risk of heart attack or stroke according to researchers.

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