Vaping presents serious health risks and a new study indicates they have damaging effects on the heart similar to traditional tobacco cigarettes, according to researchers speaking at the world’s largest heart conference in Rome, Italy.
The findings, presented by researchers from Hippokration General Hospital in Athens to the European Society of Cardiology’s annual congress prompted warnings from several leading experts that the electronic devices, while often touted as safer alternatives to conventional smoking, are “far more dangerous than people realize.”
“The findings show that [vaping has] a similar effect to normal cigarettes on the stiffness of the main blood vessel in the body,” Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation and one of Britain’s most recognized physicians, told The Sun.
Lead researcher Professor Charalambos Vlachopoulos explained to The Sun that 30 minutes of vaping affects the aorta the same way that five minutes of smoking a regular cigarette does.
“We measured aortic stiffness. If the aorta is stiff you multiply your risk of dying, either from heart diseases or from other causes,” Dr. Vlachopoulos explained.
“The aorta is like a balloon next to the heart. The more stiff the balloon is, the more difficult for the heart to pump,” he added.
According to The Sun, the researchers took aim at UK health officials, who claim that vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking conventional cigarettes and have decided to allow general practitioners to prescribe them to smokers as smoking cessation aids.
According to researchers, the UK’s move to embrace vaping as a safer alternative to smoking is premature, especially when there is growing evidence that links the chemicals in e-juice vapor to lung damage, cancer, and stillbirth in pregnant women, in addition to heart complications.
According to The Sun, Public Health England’s claims that vaping is much safer than tobacco are based on a study conducted by scientists paid by the vape industry.
“I wouldn’t recommend them now as a method to give up smoking,” Dr. Vlachopoulos told The Sun. “I think the UK has rushed into adopting this method.”