Pharmacy News

Dr Marie Sartain
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AHA: Vaping harms heart and lungs

In a new scientific statement, the American Heart Association (AHA) is urging more research about the detrimental effects of vaping on the heart and lungs.

“E-cigarettes deliver numerous substances into the body that are potentially harmful, including chemicals and other compounds that are likely not known to or understood by the user. There is research indicating that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are associated with acute changes in several hemodynamic measures, including increases in blood pressure and heart rate,” said an AHA news statement.

AHA also noted a “significant association” between e-cigarette use and the development of incident respiratory disease over 2 years, including asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic bronchitis.

“Negative effects of e-cigarettes have been shown through in vitro studies and in studies of individuals exposed to chemicals in commercially available products,” said the news release.

Vitamin E acetate is the ingredient that is likely causing e-cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury hospitalizations.

The statement noted that additional research is needed to gauge the health effects of vaping on heart attacks and strokes. The statement also pointed out that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among high school and middle school–age students.

“Because e-cigarettes and other vaping systems have only been in the U.S. for about 15 years, we do not yet have enough information on their long-term health effects, so we must rely on shorter-term studies, molecular experiments, and research in animals to try to assess the true risk of using e-cigarettes. It is necessary for us to expand this type of research since the adoption of e-cigarettes has grown exponentially, especially in young people, many of whom may have never used combustible cigarettes,” the statement said.

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