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Smoking is the most preventable risk factor for cardiac and lung disease and is expected to cause 1 billion deaths during the 21st century. Electronic cigarettes have been marketed in recent years as a safer habit for smokers, with several millions of people already using them worldwide.
40% of deaths in smokers is due coronary artery disease alone. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of electronic cigarettes on cardiac function. The effects of regular cigarettes on the heart were compared to the effect of electronic cigarettes.
Other studies have shown that smoking produces significant defects in heart function. The goal of this experiment was to see if these same defects were present in a group that smoked electronic cigarettes.
The researchers measured heart function of daily smokers that smoked a single cigarette and another group of electronic cigarette users who used an electronic cigarette for seven minutes.
The results showed that one tobacco cigarette led to significant heart dysfunction. The electronic cigarette users, comparatively, showed no adverse effects on heart function.
Dr Farsalinos (author of the study) stated that this type of heart dysfunction is very important as it is usually the first defect that is detected before more serious cardiac disease develops.
He added: “It is too early to say whether the electronic cigarette is a revolution in tobacco harm reduction but the potential is there. It is the only available product that deals with both the chemical (nicotine delivery) and psychological (inhaling and exhaling ‘smoke’, holding it, etc) addiction to smoking, laboratory analyses indicate that it is significantly less toxic and our study has shown no significant defects in cardiac function after acute use.”
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