One-year study indicates vaping reduces high blood pressure in smoking patients

Most people are already aware that smoking poses increased risks for high blood pressure, hypertension, and heart disease.  However, new research is indicating that switching to vaping may offer significant, long-term health benefits.  Studies dating back as far as the 1960s indicate that smoking raises the heart rate, narrows the arteries, hardens the arterial walls, and lessens the blood’s ability to clot.  Even exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to many of these same conditions

The scientific community is also largely in agreement that nicotine consumption alone is not the real problem.  The most significant concern is the ingestion of combustible tobacco leaves and its related tar-filled smoke which is directly linked to several forms of cancer and other potentially deadly, smoking-related diseases.   

Related Article:  Vaping will save 3.3 million years of life by 2070, says new study

In fact, research published in 2007 by the Susan and Herman Merinoff Center in New York seeming indicates that nicotine therapies might even be helpful to female patients suffering from pregnancy-induced hypertension.  While the e-liquids used in vaping devices sometimes contain trace amounts of nicotine extract, almost none of them contain tobacco.  It is this fundamental premise that may be a significant driving factor behind new research into this area of medical specialty, most recently by two world-class physicians named Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos and Dr. Riccardo Polosa.

Vaping, blood pressure, and heart rates

The two scientists began by soliciting the assistance of 211 volunteers categorized separately as either smokers, vapers, or dual users.  All volunteers had also previously participated in the 2013 ECLAT study which focusses on the measurable success rates of vaping as a smoking cessation and tobacco harm reduction tool.   The members of the vaping group were then subdivided into three additional subcategories.

  • Vapers using low-nicotine e-liquids
  • Vapers using medium-nicotine e-liquids
  • Vapers using high-nicotine e-liquids

For a full year, all vapers were given the same cigalike vaping device and the same brands of e-liquids.  Only the nicotine percentages were different, based on the participants’ pre-assigned groupings. 

Related Article: CDC research debunks claims that e-cig vapor contains toxic formaldehyde

Furthermore, of the original 211 participants, 145 had prior medical histories of high blood pressure.  The remaining 66 participants exhibited signs of elevated heart rates.  What the Polosa-Farsalinos team discovered is that switching to vaping is not only good for the heart, the related improvement levels are directly proportional to the nicotine levels being vaped. 

“When the same analysis was repeated in 66 subjects with elevated BP at baseline, a substantial reduction in systolic BP was observed at week 52 compared to baseline (132.4 ± 12.0 vs. 141.2 ± 10.5 mmHg, p < 0.001), with a significant effect found for smoking phenotype classification. After adjusting for weight change, gender and age, reduction in systolic BP from baseline at week 52 remains associated significantly with both smoking reduction and smoking abstinence. In conclusion, smokers who reduce or quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes may lower their systolic BP in the long term, and this reduction is apparent in smokers with elevated BP. The current study adds to the evidence that quitting smoking with the use of e-cigarettes does not lead to higher BP values, and this is independently observed whether e-cigarettes are regularly used or not.”

To put this another way, those participants with pre-diagnosed conditions of high blood pressure, hypertension and using the higher nicotine e-liquids experienced a greater level of health progress than those vaping the lower nicotine concentrations.  For more information, the Polosa-Farsalinos study entitled Effect of continuous smoking reduction and abstinence on blood pressure and heart rate in smokers switching to electronic cigarettes is available via the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine


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