Study shows vaping improves cardio functions; one cigarette produces instant adverse effects

Recent research involving the possible myocardial effects of vaping compared to smoking shows that even a single cigarette produces immediate adverse effects on the heart.  Meanwhile, switching to vaping without dual usage helps regulate blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, standing heart rate, and overall cardiovascular performance.

Many anti-vaping advocates often claim that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking, even though there exist reams of scientific research proving the contrary.  One such example of the intentional spreading of disinformation involves a June 2017 radio interview where a member of the Wisconsin chapter of the American Lung Association, Dona Wininsky, made the following statement to WPR News

"I think there’s still a perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes and so for some kids who never would have tried smoking cigarettes they get the idea this might be a safer alternative."

The United States is not the only nation battling these types of fictionalized claims against vaping.  When a group of scientists from the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Kallithéa, Greece, discovered the enormous amounts of bad information circulating online and in mainstream media, they decided to take action.  By conducting a series of high-quality studies complete with peer reviewed statistics, the Greek team hopes to better educate the global community on the many health benefits of vaping as a tobacco harm reduction tool.

Overview of the myocardial vaping study

The scientific team led by world-class cardiologist Dr. Konstantinos E Farsalinos began by soliciting the help of 81 volunteers consisting of both smokers and vapers.  Dual usage was strictly forbidden.  In fact, to prove that their research was on the up-and-up, several of the original control group were rejected from the study after it was discovered that they had relapsed temporarily back into smoking.

  • Throughout the course of the project, various cardiovascular functions of each participant were carefully monitored and evaluated, including:
    • IVRT corrected to heart rate (IVRTc)
    • Isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT)
    • Left ventricle (LV) Diameter
    • Left ventricle (LV) Mass Index
    • Myocardial performance index
    • Diastolic Blood Pressure
    • Systolic Blood Pressure
    • Standing Blood Pressure
    • Standing Heart Rate
    • Triglyceride Levels
    • Glucose Levels
    • Cholesterol levels
  • Of the original 81 participants, 36 smokers completed the trial.
    • 32 Men
    • 4 Women
    • 36 was the average age
  • Of the original 81 participants, 40 vapers completed the trial.
    • 36 Men
    • 4 Women
    • 35 was the average age
  • All vapers were also former smokers and non-dual users.
  • All vapers were provided the same e-liquid comprised of 7ml nicotine saturation.
  • On a regularly scheduled basis, smokers were asked to smoke a single cigarette in an air-controlled laboratory where all related myocardial functions were measured.
  • Meanwhile, the vaping group was asked to vape the 7ml nicotine e-liquid n a separate, air-controlled environment for a period of seven minutes.

The findings were then compared and documented in a report entitled, Acute effects of using an electronic nicotine-delivery device (electronic cigarette) on myocardial function: comparison with the effects of regular cigarettes.  After an extensive peer review, the findings were then published in the online journal  BMC Cardiovascular Disorders.

Related Article:  Only 5% of Brits think vaping is as bad as smoking compared to 33% of Americans

What the scientists discovered is that the vaping group experienced relatively no changes in any of the associated cardiovascular functions.  Comparatively, each member of the smoking group exhibited dramatic and nearly instantaneous adverse effects in most categories even after smoking just one cigarette. 

"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."

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

The Farsalinos study has been highly praised among the medical and vaping communities worldwide.  However, because the researchers are from outside of the United States, American public health agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are somewhat slow to endorse the study’s findings.  In fact, both the FDA and the CDC have yet to publicly endorse the 2015 research compiled by the UK Royal College of Physicians which indicates that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking. 

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