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E-Cigarettes: How Safe Are They for Cardiovascular Health?

As people turn to e-cigarettes in an effort to stop smoking, Medical News Today has a word of caution from scientists looking at the cardiovascular effects of vaping: Don’t look at e-cigs as safe for your heart. Researchers found that just five minutes of exposure to e-cigarettes narrows your arteries by 31 percent and brings about the premature aging of the blood vessels.

E-cigarettes deliver nicotine and other chemicals to your body using heat but not combustion. Using heat created by a battery, an e-cig heats a liquid to create an aerosol that contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. One reason e-cigarettes are dangerous is because they contain both nicotine and artificial flavorings designed to enhance and hook you on the “experience.” For instance, diacetyl — an artificial flavor used for adding a buttery taste to microwave popcorn that has been linked to respiratory damage, including inflammation and permanent scarring of the airways — is just one of the chemicals used to flavor e-cigarettes.

E-cigarette advocates claim vaping can help you quit tobacco, but they don't tell you the whole story. In fact, a randomized clinical study comparing nicotine patches and e-cigarettes showed no difference between the methods. This means it's not necessary to inhale additional chemicals or continue a physical action to quit smoking — a fact confirmed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which did not find sufficient evidence to recommend using e-cigarettes as a method of helping people to quit smoking.

The truth is no matter how it’s delivered, nicotine is addictive. If you need help to stop smoking, begin by picking a “quit” day; enlist the help of a friend who can support your efforts; identify triggers that make you want to smoke and avoid them; and change what, where, when and how you smoke. Quitting may be hard, but I advise you to do it as early as now, without reverting to e-cigs. I really believe that having a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle not only will benefit you but your family as well.
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