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Daily use of electronic cigarettes is associated with nearly a doubling of the odds of a heart attack, according to a new study led by UC San Francisco. This is the first evidence of a substantial, human health impact of the popular devices that were first introduced about a decade ago, indicating that e-cigarettes may be more dangerous than previously thought.
The new study of nearly 70,000 people found that heightened heart attack risk for e-cigarettes is on top of the effects of conventional cigarettes, which by themselves nearly triple the odds of heart attack risk when smoked daily. Together they lead to five times the non-smoking heart attack risk in those who use both conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes every day.
The research will be presented February 24 in Baltimore at the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.
Stanton Glantz, PhD“The finding of increased heart attack risk for e-cigarette use, in addition to the risks of any smoking, is particularly troubling, because most people who use e-cigarettes continue to smoke cigarettes,” said senior author Stanton Glantz, PhD, who presented the work. Glantz is a UCSF professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
The health effects of e-cigarettes have been a contentious topic in the scientific community in recent years, but evidence is mounting that links them to direct health harms.
Last month, a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine cited a range of health impacts of e-cigarette use, ranging from exposure to nicotine and other toxic substances to “substantial” evidence that e-cigarette use results in symptoms of dependence. The report observed that there wasn’t yet evidence of the risks of heart, cancer or respiratory disease in people who used e-cigarettes, but found some support from animal studies that long-term use could increase those …