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A new study warns that the side effects of vaping may damage blood vessels, even after the first use, and when using e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine or THC ingredients.
In a report published last week in the medical journal Radiology, researchers with the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine highlight the impact that even one time vaping can have on an individual’s cardiovascular and blood flow, which may be the result of chemicals used in liquid solutions contained in e-cigarettes.
Researchers recruited 31 healthy individuals in their 20’s and early 30’s whom had reportedly never smoked traditional or electronic cigarettes for the study. Each participant was instructed to inhale 16 puffs of an electronic cigarette that contained tobacco flavorings and sweeteners, such as propylene glycol and glycerol.
To identify how vaping impacts the blood flow, the researchers briefly cuffed each participant’s leg to restrict blood flow to the femoral artery before smoking or vaping and took an MRI image, then released the cuff and to track how fast the blood flowed back to make up for the restricted flow. This determined the normal rate of blood flow for each individual.
All 31 participants’ blood flows were observed to be much slower after smoking or vaping, and the scans showed reduced blood flow and less oxygen in the leg, which lasted for about an hour.
It is still unclear from the study which chemicals caused the blood flow restriction, however authors suggest it may be the aerosol, the flavors or the fact that the combination of molecules change into something more when they become heated.
Although the results of blood flow restriction were found to dissipate after an hour or so, researchers warned that this sort of damage to the bodily done consistently over years can become cumulative and may likely increase the risk of additional vascular and heart problems.
This new research aligns with previous studies, which linked side effects of vaping flavored e-cigarettes with adverse events like damage to blood vessels and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
In May, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study that found all e-cigarette liquid flavors damage cells that line blood vessels, however, certain e-liquid flavors with elevated levels of toxicity such as cinnamon and menthol caused increased inflammation on endothelial cardiovascular cells.
This latest study comes amid a multi-state vaping injury investigation linking more than three dozen severe breathing difficulties resulting in hospitalizations to e-cigarette use.
Additionally, the American Association of Poison Control Centers warns that as of July 31, poison control centers across the nation have managed 2,439 exposure cases about e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine in 2019.
Advocates say e-cigarettes are a better option than smoking because they contain fewer cancer causing chemicals than traditional cigarettes, but recent research indicates that may not be the case. The devices may not be entirely safe and pose different threats to human health than traditional cigarettes.
In addition, there are growing concerns about the widespread popularity of vaping among teens, young adults and prior non-smokers, who are developing life-long addictions to nicotine following aggressive marketing of e-cigarettes, which suggest use of the device is safe.
In recent months, dozens of JUUL vaping lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of the most popular form of e-cigarette, alleging that the company targeted their addictive product toward teens and withheld important safety warnings about the risk of respiratory problems, pneumonia, seizures, addiction and other complications.