In June last year, a group of prominent academics in the US published a paper claiming that people who vape, or people who use e cigarettes, are twice as likely to have a heart attack than people who don’t vape at all. Causing a media furore to the tune of 35 news articles, the paper was nevertheless withdrawn from publication last week. But why?
Looking further into the data the scientists drew their conclusions from, other researchers found that the majority of heart attacks reported happened before the subjects started to vape. Glossing over this information meant that a false correlation was found between vaping and one’s chances of having a heart attack..
Although the authors of the study were reportedly asked to look into this factor during their peer-review process and supplement extra information to legitimize their conclusion, they failed to do so. Then asked to reevaluate their results once published, as the authors said they could no longer access the original data sets, they were eventually forced to retract the entire paper from publication.
But does this mean that vaping is damaging or benign to heart health? Although the paper’s findings are likely untrue, to fully understand the impact of vaping on cardiovascular health, further research is needed as e cigarette devices are still relatively new to the market. Despite this however, experts generally agree that nicotine-regulated e cigarettes generally carry significantly less risk than traditional cigarettes.
However, it is also important to note that e cigarettes vary in chemical makeup, and thus potential impact. For example, vaping-related illnesses have sprung up all over the US over the last year, largely as a result of vaping cannabis products. Often containing a compound known as vitamin E acetate, these e cigarettes are known to cause lung damage.
More than this, the smoke clouds that emanate from vape devices are thought to stimulate asthma problems, while another study has linked the smoking habit to chronic lung disease. Meanwhile, given the presence of nicotine within fluids commonly vaped, e cigarettes are nevertheless a cause for addiction, something that can hamper brain development and alter brain chemistry, especially among young adults and adolescents.