According to research presented at the European Respiratory Society. International Congress, the use of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine causes an immediate increase in the formation of blood clots and a deterioration in the ability of small blood vessels to expand and dilate, as well as an increase in heart rate and pressure arterial .
The researchers suggest that these effects are similar to those caused by smoking traditional cigarettes and that, with prolonged use, they could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
22 men and women
The study was presented by Gustaf Lyytinen, a physician at Helsingborg Hospital and a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He and his colleagues conducted experiments with a group of 22 women and men between the ages of 18 and 45 who were occasional but otherwise healthy smokers .
Each volunteer was evaluated before and after taking 30 puffs of an electronic cigarette containing nicotine, and before and after 30 puffs of an electronic cigarette containing no nicotine. These two sets of tests were carried out on separate occasions, at least a week apart .
On each occasion, the researchers measured the volunteers’ heart rate and blood pressure and collected a blood sample before using the e-cigarettes , then 15 minutes after use, and again 60 minutes after use. The researchers also carried out tests to measure any impact on blood circulation through the body’s tiny blood vessels, before the volunteers used the e-cigarettes and 30 minutes after. These tests use a laser to visualize how well the blood vessels in the skin can dilate and therefore regulate the blood supply around the body.