What are e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes, also known as vaporizers, are battery-powered devices that heat up a mixture of nicotine, flavoring, and a liquid—usually propylene glycol or glycerol—into a vapor for users to inhale. Ever since they debuted on the market in the early 2000s, e-cigarettes have been widely marketed as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, as vaping does not involve burning and smoking tobacco but still delivers a nicotine rush. However, recent research shows that many of the health problems traditional cigarette smokers face persist with e-cigarettes, due to the devices’ nicotine content and other chemicals in the liquid. What’s worse, e-cigarettes have been linked to a severe lung disease, which has lead to deaths.
The FDA’s regulation of tobacco products includes e-cigarettes, in an attempt to control what substances go into the often mysterious liquid and to keep the devices out of the hands of minors. But even with these regulations, using e-cigarettes can still cause some serious complications to your health. Claims that they can help smokers quit have been overstated. Even if you make the switch, you’re still dependent on nicotine. Science says this strategy is the best way to quit smoking.
E-cigarettes mess with your heart
iStock/Joshua Hodge Photography
Even though e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco, they still hold plenty of nicotine, and can cause many of the same nicotine-related heart problems as regular smokes. According to Michael Fiore, MD, director for the Center of Tobacco Research and Innovation at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, nicotine falls in the “stimulant” category of drugs, leading your heart to beat faster than usual and potentially causing high blood pressure. If you vape, you may have as much as a 59 percent higher risk of heart attack or crushing chest pain known as angina and a 40 percent higher risk of heart disease. These findings were presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2019 in Honolulu. Here are 30 ways to reduce your risk of heart disease—and not smoking is one of them.