As vaping becomes increasingly popular, with 3.6 million users in the UK alone, you may be wondering what the long-term effects of vaping on the cardiovascular system are

Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, but is it harmful or harmless?

A new study at Sheffield Hallam University has investigated the long-term effects of vaping on the cardiovascular system. This follows previous research that discovered that giving up smoking with e-cigarettes had benefits on the cardiovascular system as conventional nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT).

Smoking is the leading, preventable cause of death worldwide

Smoking causes almost 80,000 deaths in the UK annually, so the NHS has made it a priority to get the UK public to stop smoking. However, as many have moved away from smoking, the popularity of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed.

E-cigarettes have become extremely popular, with around 3.6 million users in the UK alone. Many individuals who vape are people who have stopped smoking or are currently smoking.

But how safe are they? And what are the long-term effects of vaping on the cardiovascular system?

The long-term effects of vaping remain largely unknown

Despite the high number of users, the long-term effects of vaping on our hearts and blood vessels remain unknown.

A previous study from this research group suggested that in the short and medium-term, smokers who used vaping as a tool to stop smoking experienced improved blood vessel health.

However, studies have failed to address its longer-term effects because vaping is so new, and there is no information for users with no smoking history.

Assessing the cardiovascular disease risk over a two-year period

The new study, funded by Heart Research UK, which also funded the previous study, aims to assess the effects of vaping on the blood vessels, as well as the cardiovascular disease risk for different types of vapers, over a two-year period.

Participants include:

  • Individuals who are currently vaping and smoking at the same time
  • Individuals vape and have never smoked
  • Vapers with a previous smoking history
  • individuals who have stopped smoking but do not currently vape

The researcher team hopes that the findings influence changes to the national ‘Stop Smoking’ strategy and the NICE guidelines on the use of e-cigarettes, and help to improve regulation of the e-cigarettes industry. The findings of the previous study have been published in BMC Medicine.

Furthering our understanding of the long-term effects of vaping

Professor Markos Klonizakis, who is leading the project, said: “Having explored the short- and medium-term effects of vaping on the cardiovasculature of smokers making an attempt to stop smoking, we’re really excited to progress our work a step further and assess the longer term effects of vaping.”

“Apart from the obvious scientific interest that this research question has, we hope it will allow different groups of vapers to make an informed decision about their approach to vaping, as well as assisting policymakers to clarify their approach towards vaping.”

‘Stopping smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease’

Stopping smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. E-cigarettes have become a very popular choice for people wanting to give up smoking but until now, little was known about their effects on the heart and blood vessels.

“This group’s previous study provided important new evidence and we are now looking forward to seeing the results of their coming investigation, to learn more about the long-term effects of vaping on the cardiovascular system,” added Helen Wilson, Director of Research at Heart Research UK.


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