Vaping with nicotine linked to increased health risks

12 September 2017 08:17

There are estimated three million e-cigarette users in Britain

There are estimated three million e-cigarette users in Britain

A new health warning has been issued by scientists in Sweden, suggesting e-cigarettes with nicotine could lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Higher blood pressure, raised heart rate and the stiffening of arteries are all symptoms discovered in a study into the effects of vaping on first-time users.

The research team in Stockholm found these new symptoms in all 15 of its healthy volunteers within just 30 minutes of using a nicotine e-cigarette.

Volunteers using vaping devices without nicotine experienced no such effects.

Dr Magnus Lundback, of the Danderyd University Hospital, Karolinska Institute, said: "The results are preliminary, but in this study we found there was a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure in the volunteers who were exposed to e-cigarettes containing nicotine."

Wide-spread vaping

Cancer Research UK suggests there are three million "vapists" in Britain. E-cigarettes are relatively new to the market and have been available in the UK for little over a decade.

Results from the study show a three-fold increase in arterial stiffness in volunteers being exposed to nicotine containing e-cigarettes when compared with its nicotine-free group.

People suffering from cardiovascular illnesses can take out medical travel insurance to provide cover when taking overseas trips.

"The number of e-cigarette users has increased dramatically in the last few years," added Dr Lundback.

The e-cigarette industry markets their product as a smoking cessation device, according to the doctor, who says the general public believe vaping is "almost harmless".

"However, the safety of e-cigarettes is debated, and a growing body of evidence is suggesting several adverse health effects."

Unknown permanent effects

Because of the limited knowledge of long-term or permanent health outcomes, the World Health Organisation has yet to come to a "definitive conclusion" on vaping.

It has however issued cautious guidance on the regulation of selling and marketing of e-cigarettes.

Although the results seen in the study are just temporary, Dr Lundback says longer-term consequences from chronic exposure could pose more permanent effects.