E-cigarettes, touted as an alternative for smokers trying to kick the butt, may not be as harmless as believed, warns a new study which found that regular vapers may be at risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The study included 23 habitual e-cigarette users – who smoked most days for at least one year – and 19 non-users between the ages of 21 and 45 years.
Researchers found that habitual e-cigarette users were more likely than non-users to have increased cardiac sympathetic activity (increased adrenaline levels in the heart) and increased oxidative stress – known mechanisms by which tobacco cigarettes increase cardiovascular risk.
"Studies like this give further confirmation that e-cigarettes are not harmless," said Professor Joep Perk from the European Society of Cardiology in France.
"There are studies also showing that people that start with e-cigarettes have a tendency to become persistent tobacco cigarette smokers as well," he said.
The researchers said the findings "have critical implications for the long-term cardiac risks associated with habitual e-cigarette use" and "mandate a re-examination of aerosolised nicotine and its metabolites."