A new study published in Radiology claims that vaping one time – even without nicotine – can damage blood vessels, reduce blood flow, and create dangerous toxins.
The researchers found that the heat created by e-cigs meant to turn liquid into vapor also stirs the compounds into toxic particles. They studied MRI scans of 31 healthy non-smokers before and after vaping nicotine-free e-cigs to come to their conclusions.
After the participants took 3-second drags 16 times from e-cigs loaded with tobacco flavoring and sweeteners, researchers found they had significant decreased blood flow in the femoral artery – the main artery that delivers blood to your thigh and leg.
“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.”
The researchers observed an average 34% reduction in the artery’s dilation, and found vaping led to a 17.5% reduction in peak blood flow and a 20% reduction in oxygen in the veins.
Author Alessandra Caporale expanded on their findings in a statement:
“E-cigarettes are advertised as not harmful, and many e-cigarette users are convinced that they are just inhaling water vapor. But the solvents, flavorings and additives in the liquid base, after vaporization, expose users to multiple insults to the respiratory tract and blood vessels.”
With the recent issues sweeping the nation – 100 teens in 14 states have reported lung damage after vaping (including 14 hospitalizations and a number of deaths) – these findings are especially troubling.
Earlier this spring, another study found that flavored e-juice also had toxic effects, like weaker cell survival and increased inflammation.
The American Lung Association has joined with the CDC and others in warning care when turning to e-cigs.
“Inhaling chemicals into your lungs is dangerous. E-cigarettes are guilty until proven innocent, and we are very much in the guilty stage,” says one spokesperson.
Dr. Robert Jackler, founder of Stanford Research Into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising, has dark warnings, as well.
“Nobody knows what it does to the human lung to breathe in and out aerosolized propylene glycol and glycerin over and over. It’s an experiment, frankly. We will find out, years from now, the results.”
And since those results could be “it kills you, in time” avoiding the products altogether seems the smartest course of action.
To me, anyway.