E-cigarettes may be more dangerous than we’ve appreciated, especially for hearts and lungs. There’s also a growing body of research suggesting that vaping can lead to smoking.
The nicotine in e-cigarettes may stress the cardiovascular system. It can increase the adrenaline circulating in our bodies, and activate the sympathetic nervous system (our “fight or flight” response), raising blood pressure, speeding up the heart rate, and causing the arteries — the vessels that carry blood — to narrow. Several recent observational studies have found a link between regular vaping and an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and coronary artery disease.
E-cigarette vapor may irritate the lungs. Smoke wears down the cells lining the lungs, damaging them, and making them more penetrable to the irritating, and cancer-causing, chemicals in cigarettes. The risk of wheezing was higher in current vapers who were also ex-smokers than in ex-smokers who did not vape. In preliminary human studies, researchers also found associations between regular vaping and COPD.
Takeaway: Talk to your kids about vaping.