Friday, July 20

UCLA research study finds possible effects of using e-cigarettes


E-cigarettes are electronic devices that vaporize flavored liquids which usually contain nicotine. They do not produce tobacco smoke and are commonly used by young adults. (Creative Commons photo by Ecig Click via Wikimedia Commons)

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that vaporize flavored liquids which usually contain nicotine. They do not produce tobacco smoke and are commonly used by young adults. (Creative Commons photo by Ecig Click via Wikimedia Commons)


UCLA researchers have found that e-cigarettes may not be as harmless as commonly believed.

In a study published earlier this month, researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health have found that e-cigarette users may also incur increased heart risk from smoking, similar to traditional cigarette users.

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that vaporize flavored liquids which usually contain nicotine. They do not produce tobacco smoke and are commonly used by young adults.

Researchers found that participants who used e-cigarettes in the study were more likely to have signs of oxidative stress and higher adrenaline levels than those who did not use e-cigarettes.

Oxidative stress, or an imbalance in the body’s ability to detoxify the harmful effects of free radicals, and levels of adrenaline, which may lead to increased heart rate and high blood pressure, are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Holly Middlekauff, the study’s co-author and cardiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine, said most people believe e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but they found similar signs of heart risk with both groups of users.

However, the researchers said they cannot draw a causal conclusion between e-cigarettes and heart risks because the findings only show a correlation.

“Most studies show that carcinogens are present at much lower levels in e-cigarettes compared to tobacco cigarettes,” Middlekauff said. “So it is conceivable that the risk for heart disease is similar for e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes, but … the risk for cancer is much greater with tobacco cigarettes.”

She said the researchers are currently comparing the cardiovascular effects of tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarette use.

“If you don’t already smoke tobacco cigarettes, don’t start using e-cigarettes – they are not harmless,” Middlekauff said.

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Science & Health editor

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  • Glen Appleton

    To add some context: There was a review of a study very similar to this one last year that the cardiovascular stress levels achieved when using nicotine (a mild stimulant) were the within the range of other activities such as consuming a caffeinated beverage; moderate exercise; watching an action / horror movie; listening to certain types of music (rock / metal, for instance); etc. In short, this “study” and the press release parroted by the corporate media provides no information that could not otherwise be deduced with some critical thinking.

    References:

    Anti-Tobacco Researcher: Cardiovascular Effects of E-Cigarettes are Nearly as Big as Smoking
    By Dr. Michael Siegal, Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2016/08/anti-tobacco-researcher-cardiovascular.html

    Professor Stanton Glantz makes an irresponsible and baseless claim about vaping risks
    By Clive Bates, former Director General with the Welsh Government
    http://www.clivebates.com/?p=4165

  • charlie

    Everybody who benefits from tobacco taxes needs to shut up and butt out of the discussion about ecigs.