Liquid used in e-cigarettes damages cells crucial for a healthy heart - EHN
The flavors used in e-cigarettes—especially menthol and cinnamon—damage blood vessel cells and such impacts increase heart disease risk, according to a new study.
The study, published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, is the latest to link e-cigarettes, or vaping — which has been touted as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes—to heart problems. It is the first study to test how e-liquids affect the endothelial cells that line the interior of blood vessels. These cells are crucial in delivering the blood supply to the bodies’ tissues and sending cells to promote healthy blood vessels, tissue growth and repair.
E-cigarettes are small devices that heat up liquids (usually propylene glycol or glycerol) to deliver as aerosol (vape) mixture of nicotine and flavors.
The study comes as e-cigarette use continues to rise. Roughly 1 in 20 U.S. adults now use e-cigarettes but the real growth is happening among youth: use among U.S. high school students went from 11.7 percent in 2017 to 20.8 percent in 2018, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition, about 4.9 percent of middle school students use e-cigarettes, the FDA found.
The study was limited in that the e-liquids weren’t heated, which could alter how the exposed cells react. The research, however, is just the latest linking e-cigarettes to heart impacts.
In March, researchers presented a study of nearly 100,000 Americans that found e-cigarette users are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes compared to non-users.
Another large national study in January of 400,000 Americans reported e-cigarette users have a 70 percent higher risk of stroke and a 60 percent higher risk of heart attack, when compared to non-users.
With use rising, health groups continue to push for more strict regulation. A judge this month ordered the FDA to review all U.S. e-cigarette products.
The ruling was a response to a federal lawsuit filed by health groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, that alleged the FDA hasn’t adequately regulated e-cigarettes and is leaving a generation of U.S kids on the path to nicotine addiction.
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