Vaping associated with increased risk of heart attack and strokes
E-cigarette smokers increase their risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to new research.
An investigation into the health of vapers discovered they are 71% more likely to have a stroke, 58% more likely to suffer from a heart attack and 40% more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease.1
The largest study to date examined 400,000 e-cigarette users and is the first of its kind to suggest a relationship between use of e-cigarettes and the risk of a stroke.
The number of vapers in the United Kingdom topped three million last year and vaping has been adopted by the NHS as device to help people stop smoking. Research from Queens Mary University of London has since found that e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement treatments at helping smokers quit.
These findings have prompted calls from oral health campaigners to remind people that e-cigarettes should be used to help come off tobacco rather than replace it.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the UK and is responsible for countless other conditions and diseases. Being smoke-free is a healthy choice that increases our quality of life.
“Vaping has been shown to be highly effective in helping people cut down and quit smoking.
“However, the long-term aim should be to do neither.
“It is important to make sure you use vaping solely as a way to make the process of quitting smoking easier. Try not to be lured into a false sense of security if you make the switch to e-cigarettes because evidently, it is still another addiction that might pose a threat to your health.”
The research is due to be presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Honolulu this week.
To find the health effects of e-cigarettes alone, researchers compared people who had only used e-cigarettes — not conventional cigarettes — to non-smokers.
However, the study could not distinguish between occasional e-cigarette use and those who vape more frequently.
The number of adults smoking in the UK has fallen by almost three million compared to ten years ago.
According to health experts, around 350,000 people are predicted to quit in 2019, leaving smoking rates at their lowest ever.
“We are delighted with these new figures. The number of people smoking in the UK continues to decline and we are getting closer to becoming a smoke-free population,” adds Dr Carter.
“The risks of smoking are well documented, and the benefits of quitting are clear.
“The same cannot be said of e-cigarettes just yet, and more research needs to be conducted to find out more about their impact.
“Ultimately, getting to the stage where you don’t find yourself craving either is the goal Brits should be looking to reach and their health will undoubtedly improve as a result.”
1. American Heart Association. Vaping Associated With Increased Risk Of Heart Attack And Stroke. (2019). In: International Stroke Conference, Honolulu - American Stroke Association
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