Study Finds The Negative Effects That Vaping May Have On Your Heart

The consensus on cigarettes and smoking has changed in recent years, and it seems the more people know about smoking, the more they have turned away from it — or tried to replace it with other methods like vaping. A new study, though, asks how much safer vaping is.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking causes stroke, heart disease, cancer, lung disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and increases the risk for other diseases and problems. Even secondhand exposure to smoking kills more than 41,000 adults a year. Startling facts like these are becoming more widely known; therefore, it's understood that smoking involves many health risks. These risks come from the more than 5,000 chemicals, including multiple carcinogens, that smoking tobacco introduces into the body (per Cleveland Clinic)

This increased awareness has led some people to turn to other forms of tobacco for the possibility of reduced harm. Unfortunately, these other types of tobacco, like smokeless or chewing tobacco, are not necessarily safer than smoking cigarettes since they too contain harmful chemicals. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, vaping involves a battery-powered heating device that vaporizes the liquid in a cartridge to create an inhalable vapor. Due to its lack of combustion, vaping may be less harmful than traditional smoking. But is vaping really any safer?

Vaping can cause heart issues

There are two types of cardiac arrhythmias, bradycardia, where the heart is too slow, and tachycardia, where the heart beats too fast (via Mayo Clinic). Neither of these is particularly good or necessarily dangerous as they can occur naturally, but they can cause life-threatening symptoms in some cases. Common symptoms of irregular heartbeat include fluttering in the chest, chest pain, shortness of breath, and a noticeable change in heart rate. More severe symptoms like fainting, collapsing, and sudden dramatic drops in blood pressure can also occur. These arrhythmias are monitored and treated through implanted devices, heart procedures, and medication.

Though traditional smoking has previously been connected to various heart issues, vaping may soon get the same association. A new study published in Nature Communications found that vaping can cause irregular heartbeat. The test was performed on mice and exposed them to aerosols or vapor containing various common ingredients found in electronic cigarettes. The hearts of the mice slowed down during inhalation and then sped up afterward, leading to irregular heartbeats.

Based on the study, simply using an electronic cigarette can trigger these conditions, regardless of other health conditions or complications. So although the study was only performed on mice, it's still significant. As Aruni Bhatnagar, a professor in the University of Louisville's division of environmental medicine, succinctly pointed out to U.S. News & World Report, "This is highly concerning, given the rapid growth of e-cigarette use, particularly among young people."