First Clinical Evidence of Unharmed Myocardial Function in Vapers
Study shows that vaping doesn’t adversely affect heart function while proving once again that traditional cigarettes drastically do.
A 2014 study out of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Kallithea, Greece found that vaping does not have any measurable effects on the myocardial tissue of the heart. The project was lead by well known heart doctor and advocate of vaping for smoking cessation, Dr. Konstantinos E. Farsalinos. Dr. Farsalinos is well known for being a leading researcher in the effects of prolonged e-cigarette use while debunking much of the unfounded or reactionary anti-vaping rhetoric. According to his bio from an e-cigarette summit he took part in recently, he’s published over 40 peer reviewed studies about the dangers of smoking and the benefits of vaping, as well as having had his research used to help set the regulations for e-cigarettes in the European Union.
This study focused on the myocardial function of subjects who had smoked previously but stopped in favor of vaping, and subjects who were still smoking after many years. Starting sometime in 2013, Dr. Farsalinos said of its findings, “This study provides the first clinical evidence that electronic cigarettes have less acute adverse effects on myocardial function when compared to tobacco cigarettes.” This is major news as many governmental bodies are still stubbornly refusing to accept the increasingly overwhelming science of vaping as a successful smoking cessation tool. By continuing to reinforce the truth we can move closer to our goal of total un-deniability of the extreme benefits to vaping over smoking.
Reasons and Results
Dr. Farsalinos, and many who also advocate for e-cigarettes, admit that not enough is truly known about them yet, but that this only highlights the need to actively study them for smoking cessation. Also, to equate the dangers of vaping to the much more well understood dangers of cigarettes is not only misleading but actively harmful, as it suppresses the potential desire of individuals to switch to a far less dangerous substitute. The study references this as its main purpose, “Electronic cigarettes have been developed and marketed in recent years as smoking substitutes. However, no studies have evaluated their effects on the cardiovascular system. The purpose of this study was to examine the immediate effects of electronic cigarette use on left ventricular (LV) function, compared to the well-documented acute adverse effects of smoking… Millions of people are using electronic cigarettes worldwide; however, lack of clinical research has raised global debate, controversy and serious public health concerns.”
The team found that the smoking participants, who had been asked to smoke a single cigarette, showed significant delay in LV myocardial relaxation. Meanwhile, the vapers who had been asked to vape for seven minutes straight showed no measurable change to their rate of LV myocardial relaxation. According to the researchers, “Baseline measurements were similar in both groups… The observed differences [after smoking/vaping] were significant even after adjusting for changes in heart rate and blood pressure.”
Fighting the False Narrative
While the scientific community slowly churns out more legitimate research on the topic, the anti vaping lobbyists are hard at work fighting the truth. Some try and argue that, even though vaping has been proven to be much less harmful than cigarettes, they are still essentially the same level of risk. For example, only last week an article published in the Daily Mail claimed that “just one puff of an e-cigarette could be all it takes to increase the risk of a heart attack.” They even used a quote from the current director of the American Heart Association Aruni Bhatnagar, “We just don’t know if moving to e-cigarettes is good enough to reduce the harm.” Another popular stance is to claim that there just isn’t any actual evidence for vaping being a successful smoking cessation tool. The CDC recently took this stance when they told The Verge “There is currently no conclusive scientific evidence supporting the use of e-cigarettes as a safe and effective cessation tool. The science thus far indicates most e-cigarette users in the United States continue to smoke conventional cigarettes.”
The first claim, that vaping isn’t any safer than smoking, has been refuted time and time again. The Cancer Research UK reported that people who had switched from combustible cigarettes to vaping for at least six months had dramatically lower rates of toxic and carcinogenic materials in their bodies than their smoking counterparts. The second claim, that vaping hasn’t been proven to be a successful smoking cessation tool, is quite misleading. In fact, this question has been researched more than any other in the vaping field and a very strong case for the contrary has been built over time. The British Medical Journal published a report earlier this year that showed not only are e-cigarette users more likely to have tried to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, over half of e-cigarette users succeeded and are now ex-smokers.
Studies like these and researchers like Dr. Farsalinos are critically needed if vaping is ever going to earn the respect that it deserves as a smoking cessation tool. According to a very recent study out of The Addictive Behaviors Journal, “Among those with a recent history of smoking, daily e-cigarette use was the strongest correlate of being quit at the time of the survey, suggesting that some smokers may have quit with frequent e-cigarette use or are using the products regularly to prevent smoking relapse.” This reaffirms that for those who are really fighting for the health of their families, something like this could very well be the godsend they need. Therefore, we ought to study and support it as such because if it can even save a single life then it is worth studying to be sure of all the benefits and risks.
Have you used e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool and how much did it help you kick the habit? Let us know in the comments.