Vaping products are widely touted as a better alternative to smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes, but are they? According to a new study published by the American College of Cardiologists, vaping nicotine can be catastrophic to your health in much the same way smoking is.
The study found that people who vape were 56 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than people who do not use vaping products. Coronary artery disease and circulatory problems, including blood clots, were also much higher among those who use vaping products —10 percent and 44 percent higher, respectively.
In addition to these potentially life-ending risks, people who vape are twice as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems, researchers found.
“Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular events relative to [vaping products]. These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of [vapes],” said Dr. Mohinder Vindhyal, assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita and the study’s lead author.
Vaping has proliferated since the devices first appeared in the U.S. in 2007. Since then, the number of people vaping has grown 1,400 percent. An estimated 17 million Americans use vape pens, JUULS, and similar devices, and that number continues to steadily climb.
Instead of helping adults quit smoking, vaping has been much more effective in introducing millions of non-smoking kids, teens and young adults to a modern and more flavorful form of nicotine addiction.
“When the risk of heart attack increases by as much as 55 percent among [people who vape] compared to nonsmokers, I wouldn’t want any of my patients nor my family members to vape. When we dug deeper, we found that regardless of how frequently someone [vapes], daily or just on some days, they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease,” Dr. Vindhyal said.
Dr. Vindhyal acknowledges that cigarette smoking presents a much higher risk of heart attack and stroke than vaping, “but that doesn’t mean vaping is safe,” he said, noting that some vape products contain nicotine and release very similar toxic compounds to tobacco smoking.