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"Nicotine-free e-cigarettes can damage blood vessels" - Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Discussion in 'Health, Safety and Vaping' started by abekage, Sep 24, 2019.

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  1. abekage

    abekage New Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Anyone have experience or can confirm with this finding?

    Both of my legs have been gradually weakening since 2 years ago. My pain feels more like nerve pains rather than muscle pain.

    Nicotine-free e-cigarettes can damage blood vessels
    Single instance of vaping immediately leads to reduced vascular function

    Date: August 20, 2019
    Source: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
    Summary: A Penn study reveals single instance of vaping immediately leads to reduced vascular function.

    Smoking e-cigarettes, also called vaping, has been marketed as a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes and is rising in popularity among non-smoking adolescents. However, a single e-cigarette can be harmful to the body's blood vessels -- even when the vapor is entirely nicotine-free -- according to a new study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The results were published today in Radiology.

    To study the short-term impacts of vaping, the researchers performed MRI exams on 31 healthy, non-smoking adults before and after vaping a nicotine-free e-cigarette. Comparing the pre- and post-MRI data, the single episode of vaping resulted in reduced blood flow and impaired endothelial function in the large (femoral) artery that supplies blood to the thigh and leg. The endothelium, which lines the inside surface of blood vessels, is essential to proper blood circulation. Once the endothelium is damaged, arteries thicken and blood flow to the heart and the brain can be cut off, resulting in heart attack or stroke.

    "While e-cigarette liquid may be relatively harmless, the vaporization process can transform the molecules -- primarily propylene glycol and glycerol -- into toxic substances," said the study's principal investigator Felix W. Wehrli, PhD, a professor of Radiologic Science and Biophysics. "Beyond the harmful effects of nicotine, we've shown that vaping has a sudden, immediate effect on the body's vascular function, and could potentially lead to long-term harmful consequences."

    E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that convert liquid into aerosol, which is inhaled into the user's lungs. Typically, the liquid contains addictive nicotine, as well as flavors. More than 10 million adults in the United States use e-cigarettes, and vaping has become especially popular among teenagers. While there appears to be some consensus that vaping may be less harmful to health than tobacco cigarette smoking, the dangers of e-cigarettes remain unclear.

    In this study, the researchers examined the impact of an e-cigarette that contained propylene glycol and glycerol with tobacco flavoring, but no nicotine, which study participants took 16, three-second puffs from. To evaluate vascular reactivity, the group constricted the vessels of the thigh with a cuff and then measured how quickly the blood flowed after its release. Using a multi-parametric MRI procedure, researchers scanned the femoral artery and vein in the leg before and after each vaping episode to see how vascular function changed.

    The researchers then performed a statistical analysis to determine group differences in vascular function before and after vaping. They observed, on average, a 34 percent reduction in the femoral artery's dilation. E-cigarettes exposure also led to a 17.5 percent reduction in peak blood flow, a 20 percent reduction in venous oxygen, and a 25.8 percent reduction in blood acceleration after the cuff release -- the speed at which the blood returned to the normal flow after being constricted. These findings suggest that vaping can cause significant changes to the inner lining of blood vessels, said study lead author Alessandra Caporale, PhD, a post-doctoral researcher in the Laboratory for Structural, Physiologic, and Functional Imaging at Penn.

    "E-cigarettes are advertised as not harmful, and many e-cigarette users are convinced that they are just inhaling water vapor," Caporale said. "But the solvents, flavorings and additives in the liquid base, after vaporization, expose users to multiple insults to the respiratory tract and blood vessels."

    Wehrli noted that they observed these striking changes after the participants (all of whom never smoked previously) used an e-cigarette a single time. More research is needed to address the potential long-term adverse effects of vaping on vascular health, but he predicts that e-cigarettes are potentially much more hazardous than previously assumed. Earlier this year, for instance, his research group found that acute exposure to e-cigarettes causes vascular inflammation.

    "I would warn young people to not even get started using e-cigarettes. The common belief is that the nicotine is what is toxic, but we have found that dangers exist, independent of nicotine," Wehrli said. "Clearly if there is an effect after a single use of an e-cigarette, then you can imagine what kind of permanent damage could be caused after vaping regularly over years."

    Story Source: Nicotine-free e-cigarettes can damage blood vessels: Single instance of vaping immediately leads to reduced vascular function
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Vapntime

    Vapntime Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 22, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    16 three second puffs is a lot of vaping, that would definitely affect oxygen saturation. It's a shame they used a flavor because some of the new research is suggesting the flavors have inflammatory effects etc. Its not going to be harmless but you can reduce the side effects with unflavoured vaping with a higher nicotine content which will translate to less vaping.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. abekage

    abekage New Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    I have increased my nicotine a few times before but the thing is our body would adapt to the higher intake and I am back to chain vaping.

    I am very interested if there are any others who have the same experience or symptoms. Please share.
  4. Horselady154

    Horselady154 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 15, 2013
    United States
    Are you taking some kind of low cholesterol drug? Because those are known to cause muscle weakening.
  5. abekage

    abekage New Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Nope. I'm not taking any drugs.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. mel_vin

    mel_vin Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    ok, so whats the control here? What happens when doing the same test with a cigarette, taking 16 3 second puffs? Are the results the same or different?

    This screams like a scare tactic .
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Love Love x 1
  7. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    NE FL
    As do many of these sorts of studies. It's quite rare to see one done in the context of a direct comparison the effect of tobacco smoke.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. sofarsogood

    sofarsogood Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Oct 12, 2014
    I don't trust any studies unless and until Dr. F comments. If I hadn't switched to vaping I'd still be smoking or dead. Still vaping after 5 years. I reformed diet and exercise, normalized bio markers, reduced body fat to ideal range, added 10 lbs of muscle. Recently I walk 7 miles a day and lift 2 hours a week.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hundertwasser
    • Like Like x 1
  10. kates

    kates Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 20, 2014
    United Kingdom
    So my first thought is they never will be able to do a long term study so it's kind of a dead end.. As they're using non smokers (and presumably non vapers?) to indicate impact of single ever use and as they 'imagine' & 'predict' there will be permanent damage how can they ethically ever undertake further research? It would involve causing what they consider probable harm intentionally? (I also have lots of questions about this study - what is the comparison to just inhaling air? inhaling cigarette smoke? What is the current evidence about short term impaired endothelial function leading to permanent damage or is it an assumption?, what kind of other situations would be expected to lead to impaired vascular function etc.)

    @abekage I would see a doctor if you have any health concerns.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Izan

    Izan Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jul 1, 2012
    Mallorca, Spain
    It was a pool of over 30 participants. How is that not representative?
    • Like Like x 2
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