Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Study Shows that E-Cigarettes, Unlike Real Ones, Do Not Adversely Affect Acute Heart Function

A new study published yesterday in the journal BMC Cardiovascular Disorders reports that unlike real cigarettes, electronic cigarettes do not adversely affect acute heart function.

(See: Farsalinos KE, et al. Acute effects of using an electronic nicotine-delivery device (electronic cigarette) on myocardial function: comparison with the effects of regular cigarettes. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:78.)

In the study, investigators examined measures of acute heart function using echocardiography among 36 smokers and 40 vapers, before and after using either a cigarette or e-cigarette. The researchers found that cigarette smoking adversely affected acute heart function. Electronic cigarette use had no effect on any of the measures examined.

The results were summarized as follows:

"This is the first study to examine the acute effects of electronic cigarette use on myocardial function. No adverse effects on LV [left ventricular] myocardial function were observed after using electronic cigarette with nicotine-containing liquid for 7 minutes. On the contrary, significant changes in diastolic function parameters were found after smoking 1 tobacco cigarette."

The authors conclude as follows:

"This study provides the first clinical evidence that electronic cigarettes have less acute adverse effects on myocardial function when compared to tobacco cigarettes."

The Rest of the Story

This study adds to the abundant evidence that electronic cigarette use is much safer than smoking.

Given that abundant evidence, it is inappropriate for many anti-smoking advocates and groups to continue to tell the public that we don't yet know whether vaping is safer than smoking.

Sadly, the FDA itself - in its proposed deeming regulations - concluded that we do not yet know enough to determine whether vaping is any more dangerous than smoking. I find it horrific that the FDA - the agency which is going to supposedly be using science to make informed, evidence-based decisions regarding tobacco products - is not sure that cigarette smoking is any more hazardous than the use of fake cigarettes that contain no tobacco, involve no combustion, produce no secondhand smoke, have much lower levels of carcinogens, and have been found to acutely improve the health of smokers who switch to them.

With that conclusion, the FDA has unfortunately destroyed its scientific credibility. It has demonstrated that it will be ideology, and not science, that dictates the regulation of tobacco and nicotine-containing products in this country. 

The rest of the story is that the next time you hear an organization claim that vaping may not be any safer than smoking, you will know that the group has no scientific credibility. It's just sad to think that the FDA is one of those groups.

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