E-cigarettes linked to heart damage

E-cigarettes linked to heart damage

Scientists have concluded that vaping increases cardiovascular risk, according to new research.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark looked at 38 different studies on the cardiovascular impact of vaping and found worrying signs of damage in 75% of tests.

When trials funded by the tobacco industry were discounted - or where the scientists involved had conflicts of interest - the number rose to 90%

They have now called for Public Health England (PHE) to stop recommending vaping as an alternative to smoking tobacco.

Human studies in new analysis showed that vaping led to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, arterial stiffness and platelets, which cause clotting.

It also increased free radicals and reduced antioxidants, raising the risk of plaque build-up in the artery walls, which can lead to a heart attack.

Around three million Britons use e-cigarettes. Since 2015, PHE has advised smokers to switch to vaping, claiming it is 95% safer than smoking tobacco.

However, it has since emerged from a report published in The Lancet that the study cited by officials to advise that vaping was safe was funded by the e-cigarette industry.

Authors of the new analysis also said it was 'concerning' that so many studies funded by the industry had found no harmful cardiovascular effects.

Last week, US health officials warned people to quit vaping following the deaths of five people, and at least 215 cases of 'respiratory distress'.

Professor Martin McKee, of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told The Telegraph: "What is amazing is how PHE simply disregards concerns, almost as if people in the UK have lungs that work differently from those in the US.

"Ever since the first appearance of the '95% safer' figure we have been concerned about conflict of interest."

A recent study from the University Of Pittsburgh via Twitter found that 1 in 5 JUUL users indicate nicotine dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

"We found many self-reported symptoms of nicotine dependence," said co-author A. Everette James, JD.

"Because of the lack of public knowledge about the dependence risks, it makes sense that many people seemed surprised about experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when they could not use their device."

Despite the news of deaths and reports of health problems, experts behind the original PHE advice have continued to defend e-cigarettes.

Prof Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said: "It seems highly unlikely that widely available nicotine-containing vaping products, particularly of the type regulated in Europe, are causing these cases."

The study was published in the journal Preventative Medicine.

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