Since the outbreak of the EVALI scare, the mainstream media has been filled with misinformation and, in many cases, outright lies about the alleged dangers of nicotine-based vaping.  In November of 2019, the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a press release which wrongly states that vaping is at least just as deadly as smoking.

In early 2020, a representative from the Virginia Commonwealth University who also works part-time as a researcher for Big Tobacco companies mimicked the AHA sentiments.  VCU professor Thomas Eissenberg who runs the university’s Center for the Study of Tobacco Products actually stated the following in a January 8 press release. “The fact is: we don’t know whether e-cigarette use is as lethal as combustible cigarette use, less lethal than combustible cigarette use, or more lethal than combustible cigarette use.”

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To be clear, Public Health England – the UK-equivalent agency to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – posted research as far back as 2015 which indicates that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking.  Statements like those made by Eissenberg and the AHA are just factually incorrect, not to mention extremely dangerous for optimum public health. 

Americans are growing increasingly distrusting of the media, politicians, and now these so-called public health non-profits.  Anti-vaping activists continuously spread false accusations that vaping leads to epileptic seizures, furaldehyde poisoning, and even chronic depression.  One of the more recent false narratives claims that vaping increases the risks of heart attacks and strokes. 

Cardiovascular effects of tobacco cigarettes versus vaping

To perhaps dispel this myth, researchers recently released the results of an in-depth, cross-sectional study involving 114 participants.  Led by Dr. Jacob George of the Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, United Kingdom, the findings are compiled in the peer-reviewed paper entitled Cardiovascular effects of switching from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes. The study is available via the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The UK scientists’ primary objective was to determine the potential negative or positive effects of vaping on the cardiovascular system.  Specific areas of consideration include fibromuscular dysplasia, blood pressure rates, heart rate augmentation, pulse wave velocity variances, oxidized low-density lipoprotein production, tissue plasminogen activation, and other myocardial biomarkers.   

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The 114 participants – all of which were current daily smokers at the beginning of the clinical trial of at least 15 tobacco cigarette per day for two years or longer – were asked to switch exclusively to vaping for a period of 30-days.  All were provided the same vaping device while half were provided zero-nicotine e-liquids.  The other half were given a nicotine-based vape.

What the scientists determined is that all respondents – even the zero-nic vapers – experienced significant positive changes in all cardiovascular categories within the 1-month time frame.  Female participants witnessed slightly greater improvements compared to the males. 

“Smokers, particularly females, who switch from TC to EC derive significant benefits in terms of vascular health, and this improvement is seen early on. From a vascular health perspective, recommendations of switching from TC to EC could be considered a vascular harms reduction measure. Further investigation is required on the long-term CV and non-CV effects of these devices.”

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Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Greece is an outspoken advocate of electronic cigarettes as a tobacco harm reduction tool.  Farsalinos has repeatedly conducted research of his own that often debunks bogus “research studies” conducted by pay-to-play researchers.  For example, his 2017 research entitled E-cigarettes emit very high formaldehyde levels only in conditions that are aversive to users: A replication study under verified realistic use conditions successfully disproved the “vaping causes formaldehyde poisoning” conspiracy.

In his blog E-cigarette Research, Farsalinos calls the more current UK vaping study on cardiovascular health nothing short of “groundbreaking.” 

“The study published today in Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) is groundbreaking. It should be seriously considered by scientific societies in changing their approach to the issue of e-cigarettes. While the study made no comparison with other smoking cessation methods (or with quitting without the use of any aid), this is irrelevant. Everyone should encourage smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit using approved medications to try e-cigarettes in an effort to quit.”

Opponents of vaping often conflate tobacco with nicotine, which leads to much of the confusion about the safety of electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.  Yes, both tobacco cigarettes and nicotine-based vapor products contain nicotine, but only the former involves the burning of tobacco leaves.  Vaping is 100 percent tobacco-free, which means its vapor is not laced with the deadly tar or combustible tobacco cigarettes that clogs the arteries and negatively impacts overall heart health. 

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