Researchers from the Manchester Metropolitan University Institute of Sport in the U.K. are investigating the long-term health effects of smoking e-cigarettes.
Vaping has become increasingly popular in the last decade due to its reputation as being a "healthier" alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, there is a lack of data on the long-term effects of its use.
The study will evaluate the vascular function of 20 vapers, 20 cigarette smokers, and a control group of 20 nonsmokers. The researchers will measure the elasticity of the blood vessels in the arms and necks of study participants. High elasticity is a good indicator of vascular health.
Previous research has shown that blood vessel elasticity in smokers is worse than nonsmokers. The researchers postulate that the blood vessels of vapers will have a similar elasticity as smokers. To measure elasticity, participants' hands will be submerged into ice water, which will cause vessels to constrict. Study participants will also take part in a fitness test, where cerebral blood flow and their ability to take on oxygen will be measured. All participants will be tested in a fasted state, having had no food, caffeine, cigarettes, or vapes that day.
Before taking part in the study, the participants will be assessed on their lifestyle and activity levels. The researchers said the purpose of this assessment is to ensure that the results reflect whether one's health is impacted by vaping and not an individual’s fitness levels. The team highlighted that this is the first study of its kind to consider whether other factors outside of smoking or vaping impact vascular health. Moreover, the study will conduct additional fitness tests 30 minutes after participants smoke or vape to document the immediate impacts on one's health.