Laboratory tests around the world continue to confirm that vaping is safer than smoking. Now that e-cigarettes have been on the market for several years, are the people using them experiencing positive or negative health effects? According to a survey conducted in 2015, people who have transitioned from smoking to vaping feel healthier than they did three years ago. This good news coincides with a surge in research supporting the benefits of switching from traditional tobacco to e-cigs.
Survey Says E-cigs May Reduce Smoking-Related Health Effects
In 2015, Dr. Robert L. Cranfield conducted a survey to measure the health effects of vaping in smokers who switched to vaping. Participants were asked if they had been diagnosed with any health conditions related to tobacco before quitting smoking or after switching to ecigs. Conditions listed included hypertension, respiratory infections, cancers and heart complications. If participants answered “Yes” to having a condition prior to using e-cigarettes, they were asked if it has since been resolved. The answers provided by the 573 respondents led Dr. Cranfield to conclude, “Electronic cigarettes have dramatic and positive health effects on those who are able to switch from smoking.”
Ex-smokers who had been vaping for at least three years were 96 percent less likely to report health problems than study participants who still smoked, and 61.8 percent of the vapers said previous conditions had gotten better since making the leap from tobacco to e-cigs. Shortness of breath was the most commonly reported condition that improved with switching to vaping. Other improvements included those with a history of chronic respiratory infections and high blood pressure. It is important to note that abstaining from tobacco, not the act of vaping itself, likely led to improved health. Considering the proof that e-cigs help ex-smokers leave tobacco, it’s safe to say that e-cigs play a big role in helping people become healthier.
Smoking and High Blood Pressure: Can Vaping Help?
It’s no secret that smoking comes along with health risks. Tobacco smoke can damage your blood cells, your heart and your entire cardiovascular system. In addition to hypertension, such trauma heightens your risk for plaque build-up in your arteries. This plaque limits the flow of oxygen throughout your body. Plaque build-up in the heart can lead to coronary heart disease, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, heart attack and possible death.
According to an e-cigarette study published in the February 2016 edition of Internal and Emergency Medicine, trading tobacco for e-cigs can help smokers wean off nicotine while reducing risks for hypertension and other heart conditions. A team led by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos measured changes in heart rate and blood pressure in former smokers and current e-cig users who vape e-liquid containing high, low, or zero nicotine. Reducing or quitting tobacco led to a long-term decline in blood pressure for the majority of vapers despite nicotine levels. Positive health effects were displayed even in those who had been diagnosed with hypertension while they were smokers. Dr. Konstantinos and his team made headlines in 2012 when they announced, “Electronic cigarettes have no acute adverse health effects on cardiac function.”
Other Potential Health Benefits of Vaping
These findings join a growing body of research supporting the belief that switching from tobacco to ecigs can improve lung damage from smoking. E-cigs are no wonder drug, but they can help people quit smoking, which leads to dozens of health benefits. For example, the authors of a study that found former smokers experienced improvements in airway function while using e-cigs proclaimed, “The emerging evidence that [e-cig] use can reverse negative health effects from tobacco smoking should be taken into consideration by regulatory authorities.” Likewise, a study from the University of Catania in Italy discovered that smokers with asthma who switched to e-cigs demonstrated improvements in lung function over the course of a year.
Vaping also has many unexpected benefits. One of the most common problems from people quitting tobacco is a surge in appetite resulting in weight gain. This happens because nicotine is an appetite suppressant. Studies show that vaping can prevent weight gain from quitting smoking, which increases the chances of successful tobacco cessation and reduces risks for health problems associated with obesity. The list of reasons to give up smoking for e-cigarettes will likely continue to grow. There are probably other benefits we don’t even know about yet. One thing we can be certain of is that evidence continues to suggest that vaping is safer than smoking.