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Vaping Is Just As Heart-Healthy As Other Nicotine Replacements  

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E-cigarettes have long been a popular way to help cigarette smokers cut down on smoking, yet little is known about their health impacts on the heart. Until now. A new study by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University and funded by Heart Research UK has found vaping offers similar health benefits to blood vessels as other nicotine replacements, and therefore helps reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. In turn, the findings can now help smokers make a more informed decision about which stop smoking aid is right for them.

 

Improvement in blood vessel health 

The study was designed to look at the impact of stop smoking aids on the cardiovascular system. It involved 248 smokers looking to stop smoking, who were split into three groups. One group used nicotine-free vapes, another nicotine-rich vapes, and the third received standard nicotine replacement therapy. Each participant also received behavioural support from the NHS stop smoking service. The results? Each group experienced “immediate, positive effects on the small arteries and veins with no significant difference between the three groups”. The health benefits were also maximised in heavy smokers (those who smoked over 20 cigarettes daily). The improvement in blood vessel health also lasted in both the long and short term in all three groups with no differences between them – up until six months after they stopped smoking.

 

Vaping is a useful stop smoking aid

“Vaping is used widely both as a stop smoking aid and a recreational tool, overtaking smoking”, explains study leader Dr. Markos Klonizakis. “Although our work doesn’t suggest that it is safe for the general population, it confirms that vaping can benefit the arteries and small veins of people wishing to stop smoking”. Juul pods, in particular, use a proprietary nicotine salt-based vape formula that mimics the nicotine delivery of regular cigarettes, and can therefore be a useful tool to help people stop smoking. Juul’s salt nicotine vape juice also offers a smooth throat hit and eliminates any soreness that’s typically present with such high concentrations.

 

Improving the national Stop Smoking strategy

The study could also potentially influence positive changes to the NICE vaping guidelines and the country’s ‘Stop Smoking’ strategy, as well as clarify and tighten regulation on the e-cigarette industry. “This is a ground-breaking finding, complementing previous work in the field. Hopefully, our work can help people and policy makers make the right decisions, to support smoking cessation”, says Dr Klonizakis. Indeed, effective anti-smoking campaigns are desperately needed – roughly 78,000 people die from smoking every year in the UK, and that doesn’t include the thousands also living with serious smoking-related illnesses. Most deaths caused by smoking are also due to cardiovascular disease.

“Stopping smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease”, comments Helen Wilson, Head of Research at Heart Research UK. “This study provides important new evidence to help people make an informed decision about which aid to stop smoking they choose. We are proud to have funded this important study.”

 

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