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Bad Blood for e-Cigarettes

Nicotine isn’t the only thing in e-cigarettes that’s harmful to your health.

Vaping with e-cigarettes has become increasingly popular and is often considered a safe alternative to smoking. Vaping involves heating mixtures of propylene glycol, flavor, glycerol and oftentimes nicotine, which are then aerosolized and inhaled by the vaper.

But increasing evidence suggests vaping may be associated with adverse health effects. Is it just the nicotine? No, suggests a recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers looked at the effects of vaping a single nicotine-free e-cigarette on vasculature function in healthy young non-vapers, finding transient changes in blood vessels similar to early atherosclerosis.

MRI scans performed immediately after vaping revealed significantly decreased blood flow acceleration and flow-mediated arterial dilation (i.e. an inadequate response of blood vessels to changes in blood flow). When inhaled, the aerosolized substances are taken up by blood vessels and alter vasculature function, which may lead to long-term consequences like cardiovascular disease.

These results are likely to spark other studies into the long-term effects of vaping on vasculature.

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