Scientists at the University of Dundee have conducted research to assess how switching from smoking to vaping affects the heart. The research showed that blood vessel health ‘significantly improved’ when smokers made the switch to vaping, even within just a month.
How does switching to vaping affect the heart?
The average score increased from 5.5 (when smoking) to 6.7 (when they switched to vaping). The average score for a healthy non-smoker is 7.7. These results seem very encouraging, but what does this score change actually mean?
A rise of one point has been known to show a 13% decreased chance of heart attacks and strokes. According to the research a rise of 1.5 can be achieved by switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes, within a month. Lead author, Professor Jacob George said:
“This represents a significant improvement in vascular health. We also found that, in the short term at least, regardless of whether the e-cigarette does or does not contain nicotine, a person will see vascular health improvements compared to smoking a traditional cigarette.”
Comparing cigarettes with e-cigarettes
The research is particularly important as it rightly compares the effects of vaping with smoking. Much of the vaping research, particularly out of the USA is arguably irrelevant as it compares vapers with non-smokers.
The researchers tracked 114 participants who had been smoking for at least 2 years. The participants had no history of heart disease and had smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day, on average. They were then split up into three groups.
One group consisted of 40 who continued to smoke. One group consisted of 37 people who switch to nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. The final 37 switched completely to non-nicotine containing e-cigarettes.
Unsurprisingly the group who continued to smoke showed no improvement to blood vessel health. Those who completely switched to vaping saw a significant improvement in blood vessel health.
E-cigarettes are the most popular quitting aid in the UK but 7.2 million people are still smoking in this country. Pieces of research like this are imperative to help show just how beneficial vaping is to smokers’ health. Not only does it show that switching to vaping affects the heart in a positive way, it also highlights just how quickly this improvement can happen.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said,
“Our hearts and blood vessels are the hidden victims of smoking. Every year in the UK, 20,000 people die from heart and circulatory disease caused by smoking cigarettes – that’s more than 50 people a day, or two deaths every hour. Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health.
“This study suggests that vaping may be less harmful to your blood vessels than smoking cigarettes. Within just one month of ditching tobacco for electronic cigarettes, people’s blood vessel health had started to recover.”
Thank you to Professor Jacob George and the researchers at the University of Dundee. The research comes at a time where the vaping industry has been bombarded with misleading news stories. We hope this research from highly qualified scientists helps to cut through the unreliable sensationalist headlines seen in the media recently.