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Research Article

Vol. 20 No. 1 (2022): Nursing: The Heart of Healthcare

Acute Cardiovascular Effects of Vaping Compared to Cigarette Smoking in Young Adults

February 15, 2021


Background: First introduced as the safer alternative to smoking, vaping has become a popular activity among young adults. However, little is known about the potential health effects of vaping.  This pilot project examined the acute cardiovascular effects of nicotine vapes/e-cigarettes (EC) in comparison to tobacco cigarettes (TC) in young adults in order to determine if vaping is more detrimental to cardiovascular health than traditional cigarettes.

 Methods: 16 healthy participants (7 M, 9 F; 20.2 ± 1.9 years) were recruited to participate in the study.  Anthropometric measures were determined upon entry into the study. Circulatory measures (heart rate [HR], blood pressure [BP] and heart rate variability [HRV]) were measured prior to and 10-min following vaping or cigarette smoking and in response to an orthostatic challenge.

Results: Resting circulatory and HRV measures were not different between chronic EC-users and TC-smokers.  Vaping and cigarette smoking induced a significant increase in cardiovascular measures (HR and BP) but not HRV measures.  Both groups responded similarly to the orthostatic challenge prior to and following vaping/smoking.

Conclusion: These results indicate that, from a cardiovascular perspective, vaping induces similar acute effects as cigarette smoking and that young adults should be counselled about these adverse effects accordingly.


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