A new study has found that e-cigarettes are no better than traditional cigarettes. In fact, it can cause your blood pressure to spike and lead to heart diseases and blood clots.

It goes without saying that smoking is injurious to health and most smokers try to kick their smoking habit. In fact, studies have shown that nearly 7 in 10 smokers make efforts to quit smoking. One of the main reasons you should quit smoking is because it leads to deaths from heart disease and more. However, some people are often tempted to turn to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes and other vaping devices). But turns out e-cigs can be equally as harmful. Researchers have found that the long-term effects of smoking e-cigarettes are as bad as smoking traditional cigarettes.

According to the research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes induce an increase in blood clot formation and a decrease in the ability of small blood vessels to expand and dilate, as well as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Smoking E-cigarettes Significantly Increase The Risk Of Blood Clots

A blood clot is a clump of blood that has solidified from a liquid condition. Clotting is an essential procedure that helps you avoid losing too much blood in certain situations, such as when you’ve been cut or injured. When a clot forms in one of your veins, it may not disintegrate completely on its own. This can be an extremely serious scenario, possibly life-threatening. The study found that the effects of smoking e-cigarette were similar to those caused by smoking traditional cigarettes, and it can even lead to heart disease and stroke with long-term use.

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For the study, the team examined a group of 22 women and men aged between 18 and 45 years who were occasional smokers but otherwise healthy. Each volunteer was tested before and after puffing 30 times on a nicotine-laced e-cigarette and 30 times on a nicotine-free e-cigarette. These two tests were conducted at least one week apart on separate occasions. They took a blood sample and evaluated the participants’ heart rate and blood pressure before they smoked e-cigarettes, then at the gap of 15 minutes and 60 minutes.

Researchers also conducted studies to see if there was any effect on blood circulation through the body’s tiny blood vessels before and after volunteers smoked e-cigarettes. When the researchers compared the findings of the tests, they discovered that using nicotine-laced e-cigarettes caused a series of immediate short-term alterations in the volunteers. After 15 minutes, Dr Lyytinen and his team detected a 23% rise in blood clots, which reverted to normal after 60 minutes. As per the study results, the heart rate of the volunteers also increased from 66 to 73 beats per minute/bpm and blood pressure (from 108 to 117 millimetres of mercury/mmHg). Researchers discovered that after using nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, the participants’ blood arteries narrowed momentarily.

E-Cigarettes Not A Safe Alternative To Traditional Cigarettes

Further explaining the ill-effects of smoking e-cigarettes, Dr Vikas Maurya, director and head of the pulmonology department, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh says, “e-cigarettes contain nicotine and solvents which are both carcinogenic in nature and can cause blood pressure to increase and heart rate to go up. This happens because the substances from the nicotine mix with our cells at a very fundamental stage, and results in the buildup of plaque which can cause the arteries to narrow and result in heart attacks or strokes.”

“The fact that e-cigarette can cause clots explains why it is not a safe alternative to a normal cigarette. So, my advice would be that if you are addicted to nicotine in any form you immediately avail tobacco cessation services, and you can also avail of the national quitline number and get help. Please also remember that e-cig is banned in India and should not be used,” he added.

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This post first appeared on The Health Site

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