Tuesday 07 September 2021
A new study has revealed that e-cigarettes containing nicotine cause blood to clot, making small blood vessels less able to adapt.
The use of e-cigarettes containing nicotine causes an immediate increase in the formation of blood clots and a deterioration in the ability of small blood vessels to dilate and expand, as well as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, according to the study presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.
The researchers say that these effects are similar to those caused by smoking traditional cigarettes, and with long-term use, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke, according to what Russia Today reported.
The study was presented by Gustav Littenen, a clinician at Helsingborg Hospital and a researcher at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Letinen and colleagues conducted detailed experiments with a group of 22 women and men aged 18 to 45 who were occasional but otherwise healthy smokers.
By comparing the results of the tests, the researchers found that the use of e-cigarettes containing nicotine created a range of immediate short-term changes in the participants. Dr. Letinen and his team detected a 23% increase in blood clotting after 15 minutes, and it returned to normal levels after 60 minutes.
There were also increases in participants’ heart rates (from a mean of 66 beats per minute to a mean of 73 beats per minute) and blood pressure (from a mean of 108 mmHg to a mean of 117 mmHg).
The researchers found that the volunteers’ blood vessels temporarily became narrower after they used e-cigarettes containing nicotine.
These effects were not observed after volunteers used e-cigarettes that did not contain nicotine. Nicotine is known to increase the levels of hormones such as adrenaline in the body, which in turn can increase the formation of blood clots.
Dr. Letinen said: “Our results indicate that the use of e-cigarettes containing nicotine has similar effects on the body as smoking conventional cigarettes. This effect on blood clots is important because we know that in the long term it can lead to blockage and narrowing of blood vessels, which of course presents people at risk of heart attacks and strokes.”
Professor Jonathan Grieve, chair of the European Respiratory Society’s Tobacco Control Committee and Professor of Pediatric Respiratory and Environmental Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, who was not involved in the study, said: “This study suggests that e-cigarettes containing nicotine can cause clots to form. “This is a small study, so we’d like to see more research examining these effects.”
He explained: “Some people may use e-cigarettes when trying to quit smoking because they are marketed as safe, but this study adds to the growing evidence on the harmful effects of e-cigarettes. There are other evidence-based methods to quit smoking that are recommended by the European Respiratory Association. (ERS), such as nicotine patches or chewing gum, does not expose the lungs to high concentrations of toxic compounds.”