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 device. … 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.
As we can see in the news, vaping is very serious and can be fatal. There has been several cases of people contracting severe lung disease and even death caused by vaping.
Vaping and Heart Function
Tobacco has always been known to be a risk factor for heart disease including heart failure. Until recent studies was 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 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. Infact, ot 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 affects of vaping was 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 which contain 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 has not been studied.
The nicotine solution contain 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 worsens heart and kidney function. A study was done to measure the effect of vaping on heart function. ECHO exams was 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 hearts 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
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.