People are looking at e-cigarettes as a “healthy” alternative to cigarettes and we currently have an epidemic of e-cigarettes use. However, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, young adults who smoke cigarettes plus use e-cigarettes are nearly two times more likely to have a stroke compared to current cigarette-only smokers and nearly three times more likely than non-smokers.
“It’s long been known that smoking cigarettes is among the most significant risk factors for stroke. Our study shows that young smokers who also use e-cigarettes put themselves at an even greater risk,” explained lead investigator Tarang Parekh, MBBS, MSc, Department of Health Administration and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA. “This is an important message for young smokers who perceive e-cigarettes as less harmful and consider them a safer alternative. We have begun understanding the health impact of e-cigarettes and concomitant cigarette smoking, and it’s not good.”
E-cigarettes may not be a safe way to stop smoking, the claim made by their purveyors. Researchers are only beginning to understand the health consequences of e-cigarettes, but the case against them is mounting with recent instances of vaping-related lung injury, as well as studies showing their hazards as a gateway (e-cigarettes users are more likely to start smoking within a shorter period of time than non-users), long-term source of high nicotine concentration, and their role in an inflammatory signaling network that underlies cardiovascular disease.
“Our findings demonstrate an additive harmful effect of e-cigarettes on smokers’ blood vessels, hearts and brains,” explained Mr. Parekh. This study calculated the adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for cerebrovascular events among current smokers (compared to non-smokers) at 1.59, former smokers who have switched to e-cigarettes at 2.54, and those who use both at 2.91. Factors weighed in this ratio included frequency of use; demographic factors; hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol levels; body mass index; physical activity; and alcohol use.
Elsevier – Medical Express – January 7, 2020.