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Could Vape Flavors Affect Heart Function?

One of the big debates people have had when it comes to vaping is regarding the flavors. Do the flavors entice kids? Do adults who want to vape want flavors like mango-explosion and Trix Cereal? And are the flavorings really as harmless as flavorings in food? Well a new study published by American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology suggests that these flavorings may not be so harmless, and may actually be doing damage to the heart.

The study was conducted in two parts. The first part, they exposed heart cells in a dish to a e-cigarette solvent, with no flavor or nicotine, then to a solvent with nicotine, then to a solvent with flavor and nicotine.

When the cells were exposed to the solvents, their electric activity and beating rate were affected. This affect was enhanced by the solvent containing flavor.

The second part of the study used mice. They attached mice to a machine that would essentially have them vape about 10 puffs a day, and found that the aerosol they were taking in, with the flavorings, was affecting their heart rates. Their heart rates were becoming erratic and slower. The way they the heart cells were reacting to the solvent shows a change in heart function that would be typical as early signs of cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Sami Noujaim, Associate Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine said,

“The flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems widely popular among teens and young adults are not harm-free. Altogether, our findings in the cells and mice indicate that vaping does interfere with the normal functioning of the heart and can potentially lead to cardiac rhythm disturbances.”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Stanford Diabetes Research Center, the University of California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program and the FDA.Now does this mean we should all rush onto facebook and write “vaping causes erratic heart rates!”? Definitely not. We just want to be clear because scientific studies can often get taken as fact before they have sufficient evidence and proper reviews. As people who read a lot of scientific studies, we want to basically summarize these findings by saying this is an alarming study that could show potential long-term effects for people who vape, but the study has not been replicated in humans, and has not been peer-reviewed. It is something to be aware of, and something to watch for further evidence and replications of the study. But it could be a first step towards discovering what potential long-term effects we could see in people, especially young people, who vape.

Click here to read the full study.