Study finds e-cigarettes no threat to heart

2012-08-25 19:00

Munich - Electronic cigarettes, an increasingly popular option among smokers trying to quit, do not appear to pose a threat to the heart, according to results of a clinical study presented on Saturday.

Greek researchers said e-cigarettes - battery-powered metal tubes that transform liquid laced with nicotine into vapour - had no adverse effects on cardiac function in their small trial.

"Electronic cigarettes are not a healthy habit but they are a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes," Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos from the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens told the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.

"Considering the extreme hazards associated with cigarette smoking, currently available data suggest that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful and substituting tobacco with electronic cigarettes may be beneficial to health."

Farsalinos and his team examined the heart function of 20 young smokers before and after smoking one tobacco cigarette against that of 22 e-cigarette users before and after using the device for seven minutes.

While the tobacco smokers suffered significant heart dysfunction, including raised blood pressure and heart rate, those using e-cigarettes had only a slight elevation in pressure.

The Greek clinical study was the first in the world to look at the cardiac effects of e-cigarettes. Another small study, also in Greece, reported earlier this year the devices had little impact on lung function.

Farsalinos acknowledged bigger studies were still needed to examine the possible long-term effects of e-cigarettes, while other doctors attending the medical meeting in Munich were cautious about giving them a clean bill of health just yet.

"Obviously, the e-cigarette has the advantage of not having the thousands of other chemicals, besides nicotine, that a real cigarette has," said Dr Russell Luepker of the University of Minnesota.

"I don't think it's conclusive but there's no doubt if you expose someone to fewer bioactive chemical compounds there is going to be less effect."

E-cigarettes were first made in China in 2003 but are now sold around the world and used by millions of people.

  • mknnko003 - 2012-08-25 19:40

    Just come to your senses and quit!

      mrp721 - 2012-08-25 20:00

      You obviously a non-smoker, well grow a brain & do your feakin' research, they reckon being addicted to cigarettes is harder to quit then the likes of cocaine.. So unless you have some useful constructive ways to help people quit rather shut your damn mouth.. So ignorant!!!!

      robqb - 2012-08-25 21:00

      @mrp721.Please, I'm an ex-smoker and I found it to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. I smoked in excess of 50 years, so I suppose that "qualifies" me. I thought that it would be like trying to commit suicide. I had "conned" myself for around a year, then I got myself on a course of tablets called Zyban. If my memory is correct you take 3tablets per day for 3 days then you drop to 1 tablet per day for x days. Well, on the 3rd day I had 1 cigarette left in my pack and decided to see how long I'd last before opening my next pack. That's about 3.5 years ago, with NO withdrawel or any other symptoms! The secret? You have to WANT to do it! Believe me, it's not as bad as those(you) make it out to be. OH, by the way, I'm an alchoholic, as well(dry for 17years&2months) If you want/have to you can. Don't stop for your family/friends, do it for yourself. By the way, if you want to smoke & drink, it's your choice not mine, so I don't care.

      ludlowdj - 2012-08-27 12:10

      easier said then done, especially for long term smokers, and those that have nervous or stress related disorders.

      IAmTheDarkPrince - 2012-08-27 16:16

      @robqp Whilst reading your reply I initially thought that you were one of those people who began smoking, then quit, and afterwards became part of the holier-than-thou groups, but as I continued reading it became evident that your response was sincere, and was aimed at breaking down the notion that addiction has to be unimaginable and near-impossible to break free from. I've always avoided the question of whether or not I'll stop smoking because of this fear attached with having to face the harsh reality of breaking addiction. The fear itself is irrational because I've never tried quitting which makes it baseless. I'm not ready to give quitting a try anymore. I'm actually ready to do it. Thank you for your testimony!

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-08-25 20:01

    Do I care. Let me go enjoy my pipe.

      carolyn.dewrance - 2012-08-25 21:16

      Neither do I, so let me smoke in peace

  • Tilt777 - 2012-08-25 20:59

    I agree. I did it with them and its healthier than normal cigarettes and works IF YOU WANT TO.

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