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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lousy Study Links E-cigarette Use To Heart Disease

E-cigarettes have been widely used for going on 15 years now. In that time, multiple studies have demonstrated that the smoking alternatives are far safer than cigarettes, and much more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine gum or patches.

So with a relatively impressive body of research available to justify "vaping" - the cool kid term for smoking an e-cig - any study that contradicts this ever-growing consensus should ping your poser radar.

Why? Because the new study is probably garbage, as is this new paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found that e-cigarette users, "vapers," experienced a temporary shift in heart rate variability also seen in regular cigarette smokers.



Naturally, the conclusion drawn from these results is that e-cigs may cause the same kinds of damage to the heart that tobacco cigarettes do. That's nonsense for a number of reasons, the most important of which is explained by Steve Milloy of JunkScience.com:

Transient physiological effects do not translate into little-understood heart disease which is a natural long-term degenerative process.
Trying to draw conclusions about the long-term effects of vaping based on the results of such a limited study is useless. It's like arguing that a single cheeseburger will make you fat because it temporarily spikes your insulin immediately after you eat it, which coincidentally was also argued this week.

Anyway, heart disease takes decades to develop. Analyzing heart rate variability and oxidative stress one time in 40 people, only 23 of whom were e-cigarette users, is beyond useless. This is why governments spend millions of dollars financing decades-long studies of people with heart disease or who are at risk of developing the condition. It really takes that long to understand what actually causes chronic disease.

Let's briefly put this measly, poorly-designed study in the context of our broader understanding of e-cigarette science. Public Health England said just last fall that e-cigs are 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes. That review covered dozens of studies published mostly in the last decade, and nearly every one of them comes down on the side of e-cigarettes being a safe alternative to tobacco.

These studies cover everything from lung cancer risk to smoking cessation and secondhand risk to bystanders. Yet we're all supposed to gasp in horror because of elevated adrenaline levels in 23 people, one time.

Nonsense.



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