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Daily vaping boosts heart attack risk

Sept. 10, 2018—Vaping an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, isn't a safe way to dodge the dangers smoking traditional cigarettes pose to your heart. Furthermore, if you start vaping and keep smoking regular cigarettes, you could end up multiplying the toll tobacco takes on your heart, according to the results of a new study.

For the study, the researchers looked at national survey data of nearly 70,000 people, including 9,350 current and former e-cigarette users. Of these, about 333 had a heart attack at some point in the past. Many of the current e-cigarette users also were current or former cigarette smokers. When researchers explored the data, here's what they found: People who switched to using e-cigarettes every day had about the same chance of a heart attack as cigarette smokers—nearly double the risk compared to nonsmokers.

A particularly risky combo

The research also suggested that vaping and smoking at the same time is even worse for the heart. Study participants who used both products every day had a heart attack risk that was nearly five times that of people who never used either cigarettes or e-cigarettes. And smoking and vaping seemed to be a popular combo. More than half of the e-cigarette users in the study continued to smoke tobacco.

When it comes to your heart's health, e-cigarettes aren't a safe way to smoke, the study suggests. E-cigarettes do have fewer cancer-causing substances, but they are not without risks. For example, they deliver fine particles and toxins that have been linked to heart disease and noncancerous lung problems.

If you want to curb smoking, there are better options than e-cigarettes. Ask your doctor about strategies that may make quitting easier for you.

If you do quit smoking, you will see your heart attack risk start to drop right away, the researchers noted. And the same may be true for those who snuff out their e-cigarettes.

The study appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Check out more on the findings.

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