New York: Smoking e-cigarettes? Read this carefully. Researchers have found that nicotine-filled e-cigarettes can increase heart rate and blood pressure in young people after a vaping session.
According to the study, published in the FASEB Journal, e-cigarettes are often marketed to teenagers and young adults as a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products.
Previous studies have shown that active smoking of tobacco cigarettes leads to higher blood pressure and heart rate and lowers muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA).
MSNA is a direct measurement of nerve traffic to blood vessels that quickly responds to changes in blood pressure.
However, changes in cardiovascular and neural responses during e-cigarette vaping have not been as widely studied as responses to tobacco cigarettes.
For the findings, researchers from Michigan Technological University in the US studied a group of healthy, 20-year-old nonsmokers.
Each volunteer participated in two separate vaping sessions, separated by a month, in which they used a JUUL e-cigarette containing nicotine or a similar nicotine-free placebo for 10 minutes.
The research team took the volunteers’ blood pressure readings before each vaping session and after a 10-minute recovery period post-vaping. Heart rate, blood pressure and MSNA were measured throughout the vaping sessions.
When the volunteers used the nicotine product, both blood pressure and heart rate increased. Heart rate dropped back to normal ranges, but blood pressure remained high during the recovery period.
MSNA activity dropped during vaping and stayed lower than normal during recovery. The volunteers did not experience the same cardiovascular changes when vaping the placebo.
These results suggest that nicotine-fueled e-cigarettes repress the transmission of nerve impulses that regulate blood pressure and heart rate (baroreflex function).
“We conclude that nonsmokers who use the JUUL e-cigarette may put themselves at greater risk for acute and/or chronic hypertension,” the researchers wrote.