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E-cigarette users are smoking their way to higher risks of heart attacks

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E-cigarette users are smoking their way to higher risks of heart attacks

There are bad news and some good news for e-cigarette smokers. The chances of getting a heart attack are almost double for e-cigarette users. This has been revealed by the latest study by UC San Francisco involving a large number of respondents – 70,000. For those who smoked both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, the risk was higher than among users who only smoked one of the two.  E-cigarette smokers were most likely to smoke cigarettes also and faced the prospect of risking a heart attack that was five times in comparison to a non-smoker.

Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., senior author and professor, UCSF had this to say, ‘Adults who switch to e-cigarettes typically do not stick to e-cigarettes alone, they tend to also smoke cigarettes.  Glantz who is also the director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research Foundation highlighted the fact that adults had a misconception that they were doing themselves a favor by changing over to e-cigarettes. Contrary to this misconception, these smokers tended to expose themselves to a higher level of risk.

The study is a first in analyzing the relationship between e-cigarettes and heart attacks. The findings of the study were first published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on Aug 22, while the findings were presented earlier this February in Baltimore.  The annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco was the platform for the presentation of the findings.

The good news was that heart attack risks begin to decline the moment a smoker quits the habit. And this includes e-cigarettes.  The key difference between e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes were the delivery methods. The former relied on an aerosol to deliver nicotine, while the latter delivered nicotine by burning tobacco.  The lower levels of carcinogens delivered by e-cigarettes are the only comparatively lesser harmful effects. The aerosols deliver ultrafine particles that are recorded as having a direct link to the risk of heart attacks.

The study analyzed the interviews of 2014 and 2016 with respondents through the National Health Interview Surveys.    Glantz highlighted one aspect of the study as “the only method to bring down the risk is to completely kick the habit”.

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