Researchers completed two studies; the first being conducted on mice and the other on humans.
In their study with humans, researchers observed the blood work of 120 volunteers, which included long-term e-cigarette users, long-term cigarette smokers, and non-smokers/non-vapers.
Researchers defined long-term e-cigarette users as those who vape more than five times a week for more than three months. Whereas, long-term smokers were considered those who smoke more than five cigarettes a day.
They then tested how many molecules could pass through a layer of cells to the other side - the more that pass through, the more risk there is for heart disease.
The findings, which were published in the journal of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, found that chronic e-cigarette smokers and tobacco smokers are equally at risk.
Matthew Springer, study leader and professor of cardiology at the University of California said: “In our human study, we found that chronic e-cigarette users had impaired blood vessel function, which may put them at increased risk for heart disease.
“It indicates that chronic users of e-cigarettes may experience a risk of vascular disease similar to that of chronic smokers.”
In their rat study, scientists aimed to determine if there was a specific component of tobacco smoke or e-cigarette vapour responsible for blood vessel damage.
However, researchers found that no component could be removed from the vapours of e-cigarettes that would reduce the effects.
“We were surprised to find that there was not a single component that you could remove to stop the damaging effect of smoke or vapors on the blood vessels,” Springer said.
“As long as there’s an irritant in the airway, blood vessel function may be impaired.”
Springer added that when smoking and vaping are combined, the damage to blood vessels rapidly increases.
“These findings suggest that using the two products together, as many people do, could increase their health risks compared to using them individually,” Springer said.
“We had not expected to see that.”
While there’s still ongoing research to understand the impact of e-cigarettes on cardiovascular health, Doctor Springer warned: “What I like to tell people is this: Just breathe clean air and avoid using these products.”
A massive analysis from the British Medical Journal found that non-chronic vaping behaviour is technically better for your health compared to smoking.
The summary stated: "Nicotine vaping is far less harmful than smoking cigarettes in the short and medium term but is 'not risk free' and more long term studies of effects are needed, researchers have concluded."
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