Vaping raises the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to new research.
E-cigarettes deliver multiple chemicals into the body that are “potentially harmful” to organs, say scientists.
Around 3.5 million Britons are regular users including almost one in ten secondary school pupils – double the number ten years ago.
In some areas, almost a third of under-18s have used battery-operated devices.
An updated statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) says the true cost to public health may not be known “for decades.”
Current evidence identifies the dangers and long-term studies are needed among people of all ages – and those who already have heart disease.
Writing committee chair Professor Jason Rose, of Maryland University, said: “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.
“There has also been research indicating that even when nicotine is not present, ingredients in e-cigarettes, particularly flavoring agents, independently carry risks associated with heart and lung diseases in animals.
They were originally marketed as a ‘safer’ alternative to smoking combustible tobacco.
But Evali (E-cigarette or vaping product use–associated lung injury) has since been recognized as a severe pulmonary condition.
The devices heat a solution to create an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs. Most formulations deliver nicotine – the addictive ingredient in conventional cigarettes.
They may also contain other substances – most commonly THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which gets cannabis users high – as well as methamphetamine, methadone or vitamins.
There are also humectants that act as solvents and create a vapor, flavorings that appeal to kids, cooling agents such as menthol and sweeteners – in addition to metals from the heating coil and other chemicals.
Rose said: “Young people often become attracted to the flavors available in these products and can develop nicotine dependence from e-cigarette use.
Studies gauging the specific impact e-cigarettes have on heart attacks and strokes are limited. Much previous research has been conducted in people who have also smoked.
One recent analysis linked e-cigs to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma – within the next two years.
The claim also needs to be clearly balanced alongside the products’ known and unknown potential health risks – including long-term dependence.
Rose Marie Robertson, the AHA’s deputy chief science and medical officer said: “E-cigarette companies have suggested that their products are a way to quit smoking traditional cigarettes.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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