23% increase in blood clots after 15 minutes, with levels returning to normal after an hour, the study found.
There was also an increase in average heart rate after vaping — from 66 to 73 beats per minute — and a rise in average blood pressure from 108 to 117 mmHg, the researchers say.
In one more finding, high-tech visualization using laser technology showed that the volunteers’ small blood vessels became temporarily narrower after they vaped with nicotine.
None of these effects occurred after the participants used e-cigarettes without nicotine, the study authors note.
That makes sense because nicotine is known to boost levels of hormones such as adrenaline, which can raise the odds for blood clots, Lyytinen’s group notes.
Patricia Folan directs the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. She wasn’t involved in the new study, but agreed with Horovitz that vaping is far from harmless.
“E-cigarettes in their many forms were brought to market without proper regulation,” Folan shares. “Their safety and effectiveness in assisting smokers to quit was not proven or demonstrated with supporting research.”
Smokers may believe that vaping can help them kick the nicotine habit, but instead smokers “often become dual users of both the vape products and combustible cigarettes, frequently preventing them from engaging in actual quit attempts,” Folan says.
While larger studies are needed to confirm the Swedish findings, research like this can help “contradict the advertising, marketing and social media influencing to which patients [who smoke] are often exposed”, which can encourage them to take up vaping, Folan says.
Because the study was presented at a medical meeting, the findings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
It is never too late to quit smoking and/or vaping.