Cardiovascular Risks of “Vaping” and E-cigarettes

 In Naturopathic News

Node Smith, ND

The use of electronic cigarettes, or “vaping” is become increasingly popular. There may be an idea that the use of e-cigarettes is less harmful to one’s health. It may not technically be “smoking,” however, the use of e-cigarettes is beginning to show a significant detrimental impact on vascular health, says a recent study.1

Study highlights significant health risks associated with e-cigarettes using nicotine

Published in Vascular Medicine, the study brings to the forefront significant health risks associated with e-cigarettes using nicotine. The study showed that users of e-cigarettes had the same cardiovascular effects as those seen in smoking traditional cigarettes. It is preliminary research which will likely impact our understanding of the overall risk of e-cigarette use.

Participants vitals were monitored during and after smoking traditional cigarettes, and e-cigarettes with and without nicotine. Smoking lasted roughly 5 minutes, and vaping consisted of a 5-minute session as well. Vitals were monitored for 2 hours from the beginning of smoking session.

Findings revealed

The findings revealed that nicotine containing e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes had virtually the same impact on vitals, with blood pressure, and heart rate being sustained at an elevated rate. Surprisingly, the e-cigarette actually had a much longer affect, with systolic blood pressure being raised for 45 minutes, compared to only 15 minutes after smoking a traditional cigarette. Heart rate was also elevated for 45 minutes following e-cigarette use. For the first 30 minutes the heart rate was elevated at a consistent level 8% higher than baseline.

The lead author of the study concluded, “the increased parameters within the nicotine containing devices might be a link to an increased cardiovascular risk which is well known for cigarettes.”

Future trials will likely focus on the difference between nicotine-free and nicotine containing e-cigarettes

Future trials will likely focus further on the difference between nicotine-free and nicotine containing e-cigarettes, and their chronic effects on peripheral and central blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Endothelial dysfunction and gender differences have also been discussed as future research aims.


  1. Franzen KF, Willig J, Talavera SC, et al.  E-cigarettes and cigarettes worsen peripheral and central hemodynamics as well as arterial stiffness: A randomized, double-blinded pilot study. Vascular Medicine, July 9, 2018.
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Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Portland, OR and associate editor for NDNR. He has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Four years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.

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