Smoking cigarettes is a common practice among people across the globe today. Though it is not recent, the activity was not as popular as it is now even in the younger age groups. Therefore, there is an increase in research on its health implications.
In addition, since the majority already knows about the harmful outcomes of the activity, alternatives to smoking are also available. For instance, many of the large companies are now developing ‘e-cigarettes’ or ‘vapes’.
According to the statistics, smoking cigarettes remains as popular as ever. However, the newly introduced e-cigs are also becoming common. The target audience and main users of vapes are mostly young adult and teenagers.
The research present on vaping suggests that they are indeed safer than smoking cigarettes. On the other hand, it also adds that this does not make them completely safe. In fact, a couple of researchers state that its long-term implications can be equally or more harmful than usual cigarettes.
To know more about long-term implications, a new study explores the safety of vaping. The lead researcher of the study was Alessandra Caporale from Laboratory for Structural, Physiologic, and Functional Imaging at the University of Pennsylvania. Its findings appear in the journal Radiology.
What Was the Research Method?
In accordance with the e-cigarette companies, these tools are a safer version of cigarettes. Consequently, most of the advertisements on vaping deliver this very message. This is one of the reasons why these tools are becoming immensely popular among the younger age groups.
The main thing that makes vapes or e-cigarettes ‘safer’ than normal cigarettes is its nicotine delivery. In these new tools, the users receive nicotine via aerosolization of an ‘e-liquid’. The whole process of aerosolization is the main controversial aspect of vapes.
In the new study, the researchers also look at nicotine-free vapes with e-liquids such as propylene glycol and glycerol. These e-cigarettes only had tobacco flavor.
To see their effects on people, the researchers looked at thirty-one participants. The average age of these participants was twenty-four. All of them were healthy and did not smoke. Each one of them took a three-second puff for around fifteen or sixteen times.
After using vapes, the participants underwent MRI scans. The researchers also looked at reactive hyperemia tests after constriction of blood vessels in the participants. This test is useful for measuring the vascular function of a person.
What Were the Results?
After performing tests, the researchers noted a reduction in both the reactive hyperemia and blood flow in the femoral artery. This means that vaping has an impact on endothelial function in a healthy and non-smoking person.
More precisely, this means that the inner walls of a person’s blood vessels can be damaged. This may lead to poor circulation and more dangerous conditions like a heart attack.
In conclusion, the vaporization part in e-cigarettes can not only cause temporary harmful changes but long-term as well. This is because this process turns the e-liquids like propylene glycol and glycerol toxic. Therefore, quitting smoking as a whole is much better than switching to vaping.