Vaping may raise the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack due to the flavourings in e-cigarettes, a study suggests.
E-cigs are believed to pose far less of a health risk than conventional cigarettes because they do not contain the tobacco which causes lung cancer.
But they still contain nicotine and are often flavoured to give the vapour they produce a more appealing smell. Researchers tested six flavours, including fruit, tobacco, cinnamon and menthol, on cells that line blood vessels.
They found the flavourings, including different levels of nicotine, caused DNA damage, cell death and inflammation. Experts believe this damage to the cells causes them to harden and form clots, suggesting heavy vaping could increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The worst effects were seen for the cinnamon and menthol flavours - even when they did not contain nicotine. Experts believe the flavours may be toxic enough to cause damage in blood vessels. It follows evidence that people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to suffer a heart attack or coronary artery disease.
Dr Joseph Wu, who led the study from Stanford University’s Cardiovascular Institute, in the US, said: “Until now, we had no data about how these e-liquids affect human endothelial cells. This study clearly shows that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes.”
E-cigarettes have been used by about 3 million British adults in the decade or so they have been available.Daily Mail