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Ecigs and circulation--my story

Discussion in 'Health, Safety and Vaping' started by mwahle1, Jan 13, 2010.

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  1. mwahle1

    mwahle1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2009
    Chicago, IL. USA

    Was a 25 year 3-4.5 pack a day smoker
    Currently, 54 days smoke free
    Vaping 36 mg e-juice (30 ml / week)
    It should be noted that I am not a doctor (but I am a scientist-geochemist).

    It is well known that cigarettes have a negative effect on the body’s circulatory system and that nicotine, by itself, constricts the blood vessels. Here is my story.

    About four years ago, I got a relatively extreme case of frostbite on three of my toes. The tips of my three toes are “permanently” black/purple and completely numb. In addition, one of them frequently fills with fluid which indicates poor circulation. It should be noted that when the toe fills with fluid it throbs and is quite painful.

    Since I quit smoking by using my e-cig exclusively, my toe has not filled with fluid or hurt. Over the first few weeks of being smoke free I hoped that my circulation was improving because my toes felt better; however, they did not look better. At this time, I was not sure if this was a coincidence or evidence that my circulation was improving.

    Over the last week (54 days smoke free), I have been observing changes with my toes. The back/purple portions are decreasing dramatically and I am starting to get a bit of feeling back in them. I am ecstatic, not only because my toes are getting better after all these years, but also due to the fact that, yes, nicotine may not be great for your circulatory system but appears to be significantly less harmful then smoking.

    I always knew that smoking and nicotine had a negative effect on the body’s circulatory system but did not know the relative effects of the two.

    In conclusion, nicotine may have a negative effect on the circulatory system, but it is extremely less dramatic when compared to the effects cigarette smoke.
  2. Sign-Man

    Sign-Man Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 5, 2010
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Don't forget that cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide. This inhibits the blood from picking up oxygen from the lungs.
  3. mwahle1

    mwahle1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2009
    Chicago, IL. USA
    I think carbon monoxide is probably one of the main culprits, but there probably are few.
  4. dlynne

    dlynne Full Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    Thanks for this information. I have been wondering about the nicotine/blood circulation question, and this post makes me feel a lot better. Good luck to you, and I hope your toes continue to improve.
  5. WebNetIncome

    WebNetIncome Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 30, 2009
    hey mwahle1,
    I was a 30 year 2 pack a day smoker. Quit and been vaping since Oct. 29, 2009 a little over 2 months now.
    I also have PADS (peripheral artery disease), which basically means my arteries are clogged going to my legs. Doctors want to blame my problem mostly on cigarettes. I feel it is a combination of factors including diet, etc. but i digress.
    Anyway good to hear you quit smoking and are only vaping now. You should notice quiet a few changes since you were a heavy smoker.

    I have had stents in the past to clear up the PADS, but i clogged up again cuz i didn't quit smoking. I no longer smoke, so i figure i may have to get stents again, but then should be ok. I was waiting on stents because i was still smoking and it would just clog back up again.

    You may want to ask your doc to check you for PADS just for safe measure. It is related to circulation in legs and it is easy testing. Basically, blood pressure test on arm, then the leg, other arm, then that leg. There are several methods to test. With your toes, I just thought it might be worth checking into.

    Now, as far as my PADS and vaping, I haven't noticed yet much of a change and really didn't expect to. Since damage is already there, I figure it wouldn't help but after next stents, i am hoping it will not clog back up.

    I am happy i quit smoking as i am sure you are that you quit too. I hope your toes continue to get better as quitting that much smoking should help. I am going to give my legs a little more time to see any change. I am sure quitting and only vaping should help me too after more time.

    Doctors claim that nicotine restricts and irritates the arteries. I am sure they are correct.

    Hang in there and keep on vaping.
  6. kalekona

    kalekona Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 11, 2010
    Washington State
    Thanks for your story I had not even thought about PAD until I saw this thread-

    I too am a sufferer of PAD 75% blockage in the left leg and 50% in the right- they would not give me stents because I couldn't or wouldn't stop smoking-even if i was smoking less than 10 analogs a day.

    They just told me to walk more. But I have to say for whatever reason the PAD has been much better without any treatment and I am still smoking as of today so I guess the walking helps but I sure know when I have done too much.

    Now I do have nitro pills- my heart isn't bad I just had an episode years ago where I thought i was having a heart attack (i wasn't- I just think I have always had circulation problems) the ER dr gave me Nitro and when I felt an attack coming on I took one and it got better- to this day no one knows if it actually helped or if it was just in my mind but long story short I still have them and when visiting my daughter at college I would take one before walking (the campus all hills) and it helped.
    I am anxious to see how I feel once I start vaping. I think it is the carbon monoxide that cause the most damage rather than just the nicotine.
  7. mwahle1

    mwahle1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2009
    Chicago, IL. USA
    I do not have PADS, but based on the fact that the circulation has greatly improved in my toes since quitting smoking for 54 days now; I know that the effects from inhaling tobacco smoke is far more detrimental to the circulatory system compared to inhaling nicotine from my e-cig.

    By the way, walking is good; I have always walked my dogs 4-6 miles every single day, no matter what the weather conditions (for about 20 years). I believe this, along with working out, is why I am in relatively good shape despite smoking like a chimney for years. Now since I quit smoking, I am feeling great!
  8. WebNetIncome

    WebNetIncome Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 30, 2009
    Well, don't guess i blame them for not giving you stents at the time. My arteries clogged right back up after about 4-6 months because i never quit smoking.
    I think if you had been clogged up worse, they would have given you stents anyway cuz of the results if not done. I was clogged up over 90% each side at the time. Clogged up again as i said, but not as bad yet, but it feels like it when i walk.
    I don't walk much and hills just about do me in--lol. Good luck on the vaping--i say if i can quit anyone can--i know you have heard that before--but i tried just about all methods there are---then my ecig came in and i quit.
  9. WebNetIncome

    WebNetIncome Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 30, 2009
    Yes, i think all the burning stuff is the major problem also. Dang, i can say you definitely do not have PADS. Dang, 4-6 miles a day. I can't make it 4-6 blocks. My legs start to cramp after about 1 block, anything further is just torture---lol. Good to hear you can do that. wtg on the quitting and moving to vaping.
  10. mwahle1

    mwahle1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2009
    Chicago, IL. USA
    Thanks WebNetIncome! I still crave that “missing something” on occasion, but after all the benefits I am experiencing (smell, taste, breathing, circulatory, etc.) I will never go back to smoking. Good luck to you!
  11. AlexTM

    AlexTM Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 7, 2009
    Cologne, Germany
    Well, there is always the option of smokeless tobacco like snus and snuff. Lots of people supplement their vaping with it, and rather small amounts, too, usually.
  12. juicefreak

    juicefreak Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    thank you so much for your post. nicotines effect on the blood vessels has been my only concern with e-cigs. I've been smoke free for about 7 months now and I've been concerned enough to think about stopping vaping entirely, but after 50+ yrs of smoking and being surrounded by smokers in the house, I don't really want to chance it.

    the constriction of blood vessels was really scary for me, because I have high cholesterol, have had several TIA's in the past, and my husband recently had 2 stents put in for blockages.

    Someone on the forum had a post of her nicotine levels tested after vaping for awhile and they were equal to 2nd hand smoke, if i remember correctly. I don't even lung inhale, so I should be good. I have spinal stenosis and nerve pain from the waist down pretty bad and it would always be in the back of my mind, 'is it nerve pain or constricted vessels pain'.

    puts my mind at ease now. I go for checkups, so not to worry about non doctor medical advice lol.

    i really appreciate your post :thumbs:
  13. mwahle1

    mwahle1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2009
    Chicago, IL. USA
    Thanks for everyone’s support.

    I just want to restate that I am not a doctor. I am just basing my conclusions on empirical evidence.

    Toes = over 4 years of heavy smoking = got slowly but progressively worse (I was going to have the tips of 2 of my toes amputated relatively soon)

    Toes = 55 days of vaping (36 mg e-juice) = getting significantly better and continuing to get better.

    All I can conclude, with certainty, is that smoking cigarettes is drastically more detrimental to the circulatory system compared to vaping.
  14. mwahle1

    mwahle1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2009
    Chicago, IL. USA
    I just want to say I make a slight mistake. I actually started vaping, as of today, 55 days ago, but I have been smoke free for 44 days.
  15. beast775

    beast775 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    victoria bc canada
    Its great that you kicked the habit.things can only get better without analogues.i feel exceptionally better.;)

    smoke free since dec 02 09.....vaping 7 days.
  16. Chasm

    Chasm Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 24, 2009

    Wow - interesting observation.

    Several years ago I suffered a mild case of frostbite to my left pinky finger. I spent several hours outside wearing a pair of gloves with a seam ripped open (not much, but apparently enough) along the side. It stung like the dickens (just the one finger) when I finally went inside and ran some warm tap water over my hands to warm them up. Ever since then, that finger has gotten cold and pale (compared to the other nine) any time I try to work outside in cold weather.

    Until this winter, that is, 3 1/2 months after I started vaping and about 6 weeks after I smoked my last cig, and well into a cold Michigan winter.

    I think you are onto something because I haven't noticed any particular problem with it so far this winter.

    (FWIW - I smoked for 44 years, 2 ppd for at least the last 20.)
  17. Moonflame

    Moonflame Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I also think you're onto something. I sit crossed legged a lot because my feet don't touch the ground in most chairs and having them dangle is uncomfortable (I'm only 4' 11") and my feet and legs used to frequently fall asleep. They don't fall asleep as often or as quickly since I've started vaping. The only thing I can think that would cause this is that my circulation is better vaping than it was smoking (23 year 1 1/2-2 ppd).
  18. mwahle1

    mwahle1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2009
    Chicago, IL. USA
    For me, the evidence is crystal clear; vaping is far less detrimental to your circulatory system compared to smoking cigarettes.
  19. Kate51

    Kate51 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Mar 27, 2009
    Argyle Wi USA
    mwahle1 what an interesting and awesome post! What a coincidence, eh???
    Could it also be that your lungs are actually working more efficiently as well? More oxygenation of your corpustles!!! Not trying to be funny, this is serious stuff, but for such a heavy smoker it's a wonder how a guy can turn things around. This is one for the books, MHO! Good for you!
  20. bestthingever

    bestthingever Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 1, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    My husband and I (both long-time analog smokers) have discomfort in our legs. He went to his doc last week to be tested for PAD, and his tests came back negative, thank God. I still think we must have some constriction of the arteries though; it's too much of a coincidence that we both have the discomfort and are both former smokers. I googled PAD and found that the symptoms are more along the lines of discomfort while walking or just moving around, while mine are relieved by movement. So not sure what's going on exactly, but I'm hoping that my circulation will continue to improve the longer I stay away from analogs.
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