There has been a rapid rise of e-cigarettes. According to the University of Pennsylvania, Vaping means using an electronic cigarette (e–cigarette) or other vaping devices. Therefore, they may think vaping is less dangerous than using other tobacco products, such as cigarettes. The amount of nicotine in the liquid can be the same or even more than the amount found in cigarettes. People are getting sick and dying. Vaping causes lung and heart disease.
As we can see in the news, vaping is very serious and can be fatal. There have been several cases of people contracting severe lung disease and even death caused by vaping.
Vaping Causes Lung and Heart Disease
Tobacco has always been known to be a risk factor for heart disease including heart failure. Until recent studies were done, the effect of e-cigarettes on cardiac function was not known.
In this article, we will discuss the findings of the study.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is a type of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS). There are different devices used to vape. ENDS ae battery operated. They heat a liquid into an aerosol that the person inhales.
This liquid is usually nicotine and flavored wit other additives. ENDS is popular with teens because they don’t “think” it is as bad as cigarettes.
However, vaping has not been shown to deter cigarette smoking. In fact, it has been shown to be a gateway drug to cigarettes.
Vaping entered the United States in 2006. Initially, these vaping devices had no government regulation.
Initially, the long term effects of vaping were unknown.
Vaping is now popular in middle school and high school children. These devices are known by different names:
- Vape Pens
- Vape Boxes
- Tank systems
- , Hookah Pen
- Hookah Stick
- Shisha Stick
- Mechanical Mods
How Does the Vaping Device Work?
The vaping device consists of a cartridge. The user activates the device ny either inhaling or pressing a button. The device then heats and sprays the liquid into the cartridge. This then creates a vapor, but it is not tobacco smoke.
So, therefore, a person gets the illusion of smoking a cigarette, but no combustion occurs. Unlike cigarettes, vaping devices have a cartridge containing a liquid that contains nicotine and other ingredients.
This is where the controversy of flavored liquid comes into play. This flavored liquid is attractive to children. Therefore, it is seen as a gateway to smoking cigarettes for children.
The liquid contains the following ingredients:
- Nicotine – the liquid can contain from no nicotine to 40mg/ml of nicotine or even higher
- Propylene glycerol- This is the main component of vaping liquids. The long term effects of inhaling propylene have not been studied.
The nicotine solution contains propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. What is concerning is that there are no regulations or control on how these products are made.
Effect of Vaping of Cardiac Function
Studies have shown that e-cigarettes worsen heart and kidney function. A study was done to measure the effect of vaping on heart function. ECHO exams were done on the control and the experiment group.
In two weeks, the echo showed that the heart rate was significantly decreased in the vaping group. The vapor also caused a modest decrease in the ejection fraction. Ejection fraction (EF) is a measurement, expressed as a percentage, of how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction.
There was no change in the heart size or the left ventricle size.
Although vaping slightly increased the collagen in the heart tissue, there was no significant cardiac fibrosis observed from vaping. However, this was a short term study.
Exposure to Vaping Creates New Heart Tissue Vessels (Angiogenesis)
Angiogenesis is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels. We know that nicotine causes new vessels in the heart tissue. Evidence has shown that e-cigarette exposure increases cardiac tissue angiogenesis.
This is important because vaping increases capillary density.
Coronary Artery Disease and Vaping
Nicotine is a positive risk factor for coronary artery disease. Nicotine causes inflammation in the arteries. Then plaque is produced.
The amount of nicotine delivered and the level of nicotine in the blood varies depending on nicotine concentration in the e-cigarette liquid, other components in the e-cigarette liquid, user experience, puffing intensity, device characteristics, and vaping technique
Experienced e-cigarette users tend to take longer puffs and use the device more intensively compared with novice users. As a consequence, they have higher blood nicotine levels that more closely resemble the levels achieved by smoking conventional cigarettes.
In less-experienced users, however, the nicotine delivered by e-cigarettes is consistently lower than nicotine delivered by conventional cigarettes.
Vaping and Lung Disease
Everyone has seen the reports in the news of people getting ill or dying from vaping. According to the Centers for Disease Control as of 10/17/2019, 805 people have become critically ill. There have been 35 deaths across America.
These people are ending up in intensive care units. The strange thing is that when people present with these kinds of lung problems, they have an infection. None of these patients have infections. It seems as if vaping is the culprit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, THC is present in most of the samples tested by the FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.
People escaped to vaping because cigarettes were dangerous. We are now finding that vaping is also dangerous. However, the medical profession is not sure why? Are the vaping nowadays being spiked with other dangerous substances?
We know that the majority of the cases of people who got sick or who died were found to have THC in their system. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
Vaping causes lung and heart disease. It is affecting very young people.
If you are looking for a substitute for cigarette smoking, here are some options:
My name is Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I am passionate about cardiac care and heart disease. I also want this blog to be an educational tool that people can refer to for traditional and alternative treatment. I will blog on heart disorders such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high cholesterol.
I received my Nursing degree from Baltimore Community College.
I went on to receive my Masters in Nursing from Walden University
I have worked for almost 30 years in Critical Care with a focus on heart health. I am an advocate of preventive healthcare.