E-Cigarettes Pose No Risk Of Heart Disease, Study Finds

By Mehreen Khan – Aug 25, 2012 5:40 AM CT

Electronic cigarettes used by smokers who want to kick the habit show no connection to heart disease, according to a study that adds to evidence of health benefits of switching from tobacco to smokeless alternatives.

E-cigarettes, electronic tubes that simulate the effect of smoking by producing nicotine vapor, prompted no adverse effects on cardiac function in the study, researchers from the Athens- based Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center said in a report presented at the European Society of Cardiology annual meeting in Munich today.

Investigators examined the heart activity of 20 young daily smokers after one ordinary cigarette against 22 people who smoked an electronic cigarette for 7 minutes. Whereas tobacco smokers showed “significant” disruptions of functions such as heartbeats or blood pressure, the effect of e-cigarettes on the heart was minimal, Konstantinos Farsalinos, one of the researchers, said in the presentation.

“Currently available data suggest that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful, and substituting tobacco with electronic cigarettes may be beneficial to health,” Farsalinos said.

Previous studies have found that the electronic devices would have to be smoked daily for four to 12 months to achieve the levels of nitrosamines, a carcinogen, that are present in a single tobacco cigarette, the researchers said. Industrywide e- cigarette sales this year are likely to double from $250 million in 2011, according to UBS AG.

Psychological Effects

Electronic cigarettes, which mimic the look and feel of traditional versions without generating smoke and ash, are one of the few smoking alternatives that provide users with their chemical need for nicotine and reproduce the psychological effect of holding and smoking a cigarette, the researcher said.

Makers of the battery-powered devices include Lorillard Inc. (LO), a Greensboro, North Carolina-based producer of standard cigarettes, which acquired Blue Ecigs for $135 million in April. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to impose rules on the testing and production of e-cigarettes.

About 2.5 million people use e-cigarettes in the U.S., according to an estimate by the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.

Although nicotine is present in the devices’ vapor, it is absorbed by the blood at a far slower rate than tobacco smoke, accounting for the lower levels of toxicity, Farsalinos said. No traces of nitrosamine were found in the e-cigarettes in the study, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mehreen Khan in London at mkhan108@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

20 comments ↓

#1 SamboEciger on 08.28.12 at 8:07 AM

Another positive report. This is a great product and more of these positive studies will gradually convince the FDA and the government to accept E-cigs as a viable alternative smoking product.

#2 sdf@sdf.com on 08.28.12 at 8:55 AM

And why wouldn’t David Ashley listen to a gentlemen like “Sambo.”

#3 Candy Girl on 08.28.12 at 10:36 AM

These studies and others from independent researchers will go a long way to accumulating the body of knowledge necessary to support the long term success of the e-cigarette. The FDA has said that it needs research, independent research, and this is one small step- but much more will be required.

#4 OTP Kid on 09.04.12 at 1:58 PM

The European Respiratory Society, reporting from its annual meeting in Vienna, said a study found inhaling e-cig vapor resulted in an instant increase in airway resistance, making it more difficult for users to breathe normally.

“We found an immediate rise in airway resistance in our group of participants, which suggests e-cigarettes can cause immediate harm after smoking the device,” said Professor Christina Gratziou, one of the study’s authors. “More research is needed to understand whether this harm also has lasting effects in the long-term.”

#5 SamboEciger on 09.05.12 at 11:55 AM

The ERS study was funded by Pfizer. Once again, the nexus between big pharma and their minions
rears its ugly head by providing biased information to steer users towards pharma manufactured NRT.

#6 Bill Godshall on 09.05.12 at 3:08 PM

Abstract presented at European Respiratory Society (ERS) confirms previous study finding that e-cigarettes modestly reduce airway resistance temporarily.
https://www.ersnetsecure.org/public/prg_congres.abstract?ww_i_presentation=59718

But abstract author Christina Gratziou, Chair of the ERS Tobacco Control Committee, issues press release misrepresenting her own abstract’s findings by claiming: “Experts warn that e-cigarettes can damage the lungs”
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-09/elf-ewt083112.php

February 2012 ERS policy opposes “the use of all tobacco and unapproved nicotine delivery products such as cigarettes, chewable tobacco, and emerging products that include electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), snus, dissolvable tobacco and waterpipes.”
http://www.ersnet.org/news/item/4494-european-respiratory-society-statement-on-e-cigarettes-and-emerging-products-.html

News media repeats and further embellishes unsubstantiated claims in Gratziou’s press release
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249784.php
http://www.sciencecodex.com/experts_warn_that_ecigarettes_can_damage_the_lungs-97689
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-02/e-cigarettes-not-tied-to-risk-of-heart-disease-in-study.html

This is called junk science by press release.

#7 sdf@ad.com on 09.05.12 at 4:12 PM

sucking on pretty much anything will give you a modest temporary airway resistance — this study is a lot of hooey.

#8 Vapor Vixen on 09.05.12 at 6:27 PM

OTP kid you need to check your story – I can tell you that my e-cig actually opens up my nasal passage – i can breath better

#9 sdf@asd.com on 09.06.12 at 7:17 AM

Vixen, sounds like you like menthol — that’s not pg or glycerin or nicotine for that matter opening up nasal passages.

#10 Candy Girl on 09.07.12 at 11:53 AM

We are seeing a flood of studies being released related to safety and efficacy of e-cigs. Need to analyze authors, conflicts of monetary interest and journalistic sensationalism in each case.

#11 SamboEciger on 09.08.12 at 10:49 AM

Quote from Dr Michael Siegel, Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health. “One possible reason that the European Respiratory Society is taking such an irresponsible position on electronic cigarettes and lying to and misleading the public about these products is that the Chair of its Tobacco Control Committee is Dr. Christina Gratziou, who has collaborated with and received research funding from Pfizer for a study of a competing smoking cessation product: varenicline. Pfizer stands to lose tremendously if electronic cigarettes increase in popularity.”

#12 OTP Kid on 09.17.12 at 4:12 PM

Vixen,

I didn’t write the story; however, this was study done by a reputable organization which generally will have more merit than your personal opinion.

Cheers!

#13 Bill Godshall on 09.20.12 at 2:29 PM

Seems like OTP Kid is a cheerleader for all of the drug industry’s hired guns who are paid to lie about and to ban e-cigarettes and other smokefree tobacco products.

#14 sdf@asf.com on 09.20.12 at 4:42 PM

Nope Bill, OTP is a guy with declining volumes who is jealous of anything growing.

#15 OTP Kid on 09.20.12 at 6:04 PM

I am a cheerleader of the facts Bill, and not a paid salesman or someone with an interest who refuses to stop trying to secretly tout an industry they obviously have an interest in.

#16 SamboEciger on 09.20.12 at 11:06 PM

@OTP Kid
This blog is called “Tobacco Today” if you scroll up to the top of this page. “Today” the Ecig industry grew and the Cigarette industry shrunk, and these “todays” will stretch into the foreeable future.That is a fact. Accept it or not, the future is Ecigs. Ruyan, regulation, taxes, OTP kid notwithstanding.

#17 OTP Kid on 09.21.12 at 9:25 AM

Ugh, more cheesy ecig salesmen

#18 Bill Godshall on 09.26.12 at 2:39 PM

Per OTP Kid’s comment about facts, I suggest a reread of OTP Kid’s comment from from three years ago at
http://www.tobaccotoday.info/2009/03/16/e-cigarettes-under-fire-why/#comment-1835

Also, a new USB-CSP survey has found that 82% of US convenience stores now sell e-cigarettes, 50% now carry at least two brands, 26% now carry at least three brands, more than 250 e-cigarette brands are now on the market, and that the e-cigarette category is expected to continue growing. (Source UBS Investment Research, A Check up on the Growing E-Cig Category)

A key reason anti tobacco extremists have been campaigning to demonize and ban e-cigarettes is because they’ve received lots of money from drug companies to do so.

Mike Siegel: Groups that Opposed Electronic Cigarettes Accepted $2.8 Million From Pfizer Alone in 2011-2012 (CTFK, ACS, AHA, ALA, AMA, AAP, Legacy, ASH urged FDA to ban e-cigarettes)
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/09/anti-smoking-groups-that-opposed.html
http://www.pfizer.com/responsibility/grants_contributions/transparency_in_grants.jsp

#19 Jersey Kid on 09.28.12 at 2:36 PM

hey i’m a retailer that sells ecigs and everything else in one of the most unfriendly states and ecigs are giving me some hope but i know there will be challenges – i’m not a fan of the junk that some manufacturers are trying to sell-as i have found out that quality is more important than the cheapest price for a lousy product

#20 OTP Kid on 11.07.12 at 6:18 PM

North Dakota
By a margin of 66.7% to 33.3%, voters in North Dakota on November 6th approved Measure 4, an initiative to amend the State’s smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes and any other “electronic oral device,” and to prohibit smoking within 20 feet of entrances, exits, windows, air intakes and ventilation systems of enclosed areas in which smoking is banned.

More to come….

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