Even nicotine-free electronic cigarettes can damage blood vessels according to a new study

Studies on electronic cigarettes are increasingly numerous but of course, given that we are dealing with a relatively new product, it will take a few more years to take cohort studies with a large number of participants and with a sufficiently long observation time. However, studies with time-reduced trials of groups of people are not lacking and often previously unknown links are found.
This is the case of a new study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania medical school.

The research, published in Radiology, found a link between nicotine-free electronic cigarettes and blood vessels.

This would run counter to the common belief that completely nicotine-free electronic cigarettes would be less harmful or otherwise not harmful. The researchers performed MRI scans on 31 healthy and non-smoking adults. The exam was performed before and after a “vaping” session of an electronic cigarette without nicotine.

Comparing the two measurements, the researchers found that these e-cigs also appear to have negative effects on the inner surface of blood vessels. Specifically, in the people examined, they seemed to cause a reduction in blood flow as well as an impairment of the endothelial function in the large artery, ie the femoral artery, represented by a 34% reduction in dilation.

The endothelium is a fundamental tissue for the circulation of blood in the body: if it is damaged, the blood can begin to thicken and in the most serious cases, the flow to the brain or heart may even stop, which leads to heart attacks and strokes.

To explain the results of the study is Felix W. Wehrli, professor of radiological sciences and biophysics at the aforementioned university and the author of the study, in the statement published on the website of the same university: “While the liquid for electronic cigarettes can be relatively harmless, the process of vaporization can transform the molecules – mainly propylene glycol and glycerol – into toxic substances. In addition to the harmful effects of nicotine, we have shown that vape has a sudden and immediate effect on the body’s vascular function and could potentially lead to long-term harmful consequences.”

Gary Nelson

I am a retired professor of psychology from Illinois State University and a lifelong educator and scientist. Throughout my life I have maintained a strong interest not only in my primary field of psychology & neuroscience, but in numerous different areas of scientific research ranging from biology to astronomy to computer science. After retiring, I founded wantingwave.com as a hobby to keep me sharp and engaged with what's happening in different fields that I've always had an interest in. Since registering the site in early-2019 and hiring a WordPress expert to put the site together, I've since reached out to others to help contribute content, and hope to gradually build up the publication to one that eventually becomes a household name.

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Gary Nelson