E-cigarettes mimic symptoms of conventional smoking

E-cigarettes elevate heart attack stroke risk

E-cigarettes containing nicotine could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, researchers have found.

Study leader Dr Magnus Lundback, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said: 'The number of e-cigarette users has increased dramatically in the last few years and [the devices] have been marketed as "almost harmless".

A significant increase in the arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and heart rate were observed in the first half hour after smoking e-cigarettes containing nicotine, while no such effect was observed on arterial stiffness and heart rate in participants who had used non-nicotine e-cigarettes.

And the study found that a condition known as arterial stiffness was three times greater in smokers using an e-cigarette containing nicotine than in one without nicotine.

A recent study has shown for the first time that e-cigarettes with nicotine result in coagulating of the arteries in humans.

"The industry markets their product as a way to reduce harm and to help people to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes". However, e cigarette as a safe option is being debated and expanding body of proof is suggesting many unfavorable health effects.

"Furthermore, the e-cigarette industry also targets non-smokers, with designs and flavours that appeal to a large crowd, even the very young, and that carry the risk of a lifelong nicotine addiction". The scientists found out that 30 minutes after smoking the e-cigarettes containing nicotine, there was a significant rise in blood pressure, heart rate as well as arterial stiffness in the volunteers.

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However, Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, said arterial stiffness was also true of other stimulants such as caffeine.

Though, after effects that were seen visible in the test were temporary, there are chances of permanent effects if e-cigarettes with nicotine are used for a long term.

Dr Lundbäck further added that it is essential that the conclusions of this and other studies reach healthcare professionals providing preventive health care and the general public.

E-cigarettes are commonly considered to be a stepping stone for people trying to quit smoking entirely, but the new study suggests they may be more risky than previously thought.

Many people consider e-cigarettes a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes. The results of the study emphasize the need for maintaining a cautious and critical attitude toward e-cigarettes, especially by healthcare service providers.

Dr Lundbäck and his group of researchers are continuing to examine the effects of e-cigarettes on lung functions and blood vessels in humans and in cell cultures.

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