E-cigarettes hit the headlines again today following the publication of three studies investigating the potential effects of vaping nicotine on the respiratory system.
The research was revealed at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in Milan.
In response to the conclusion that nicotine affects arterial stiffness, Professor Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, said:
“This is a well-known stimulant effect of nicotine that has little relevance for health. Drinking coffee has the same effect, only greater and longer lasting (as does watching a dramatic football match).”
As for the claims that respiratory symptoms were higher among duel users of traditional and electronic cigarettes, Professor Hajek said:
“The most likely explanation is that heavier smokers are more likely to suffer from respiratory symptoms, and are also more likely to try to quit but fail to stop smoking completely. This could lead to heavy smokers with respiratory symptoms ending up in the dual users group”.
In his summary of the research, Dr Tim Chico, Reader in Cardiovascular Medicine & consultant cardiologist, University of Sheffield, reiterated the scientific community’s overall view that e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
“Electronic cigarettes are certain to have some health effects, and it is very important that non-smokers do not start using them erroneously thinking that they are harmless. However, the key question is whether they are as harmful as conventional cigarettes, and this seems very unlikely, particularly if they are used as a bridge to quitting all cigarettes completely.”