As if classic cars weren’t getting electrified enough, now the trend seems to have caught up to another favorite pastime; nicotine addiction, delivered thanks to a smooth package called the cigarette. And just like the Mustang, which is now called the Mustang Mach Electric Crossover, cigarettes are now called e-cigarettes, and colloquially known as vapes.
Men and women at first smoked, which as a verb, sounds cool, still to this day. Now its turned into ‘vaping’ and trust us, an electric pen in your mouth does not seem cool at all. And if tobacco wasn’t bad enough already, e-cigarettes are further galvanizing their reputation as unsafe and unhealthy.
As of recent, researches have proved conclusively that vaping does indeed increase your blood pressure, which can have lasting and deteriorating effects on the already taxed circulatory system (of both a smoker and non-smoker). In short, does vaping raise your blood pressure?
Considering the fact that vaping is quite a recent phenomenon and has its nicotine delivery method changed, research was definitely needed to understand if this mitigated the damage of the nicotine or kept it the same as a conventional cigarette. And the results are the same, albeit a bit more punched up. But first, we need to understand how a vape works.
What is a Vape/ E-cigarette?
Both of these terms are interchangeable. In fact, vape comes from vapour, which is how an e-cigarette delivers its business to the smoker. An e-cigarette works by the means of a cartridge, which contains a liquid, consisting of nicotine, flavour and a bunch of other compounds. This liquid is heated and turned into vapour, which the user then inhales, delivering a much more refined and potent dose of nicotine and flavour. Thus, the name ‘vape’ and the action ‘vaping’.
Does vaping raise your blood pressure?
Yes, much like a cigarette, since a vape is essentially a cigarette with just the delivery method switched to liquid and vapour. Earlier on during the life of cigarettes, when they were just getting to be a cornerstone in the cultural zeitgeist of the 20th and 21st century, many researches conclusively proved tobacco’s devastating effects on the human physiology; especially on the circulatory and respiratory system.
Cigarettes were the reason why lung cancer became common and heart diseases previously reserved for the elderly and the already frail were now beginning to appear in the reports of smokers in better physical condition.
Vaping is no different. Research from the Michigan Technological University and CDC show that after using an e-cigarette, the blood pressure is raised and the heart rate is also raised.
However, the problem presents itself when the heart rates weans down but the blood pressure stays elevated, which is a cause for concern, because elevated blood pressure for a sustained period of time can cause several other cardiac complications, which in the long run mean heart diseases of all kinds.
The MTU research concluded that non-smokers, or people who did not switch from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes, were at more risk of developing a long-term high-blood pressure, which occurs due to the compounds in nicotine blocking receptors that regulate blood pressure.
This causes the pressure to go unregulated and unchecked, allowing for arteries and other blood vessels to harden up and cause more problems in the future.
ALSO READ: Can Allergies Cause High Blood Pressure?
We could go into the technicalities and explain how MSNA (lower Muscle Sympathetic Nerve Activity) measures nerve traffic to the blood vessels to gauge the blood pressure, and how e-cigarettes and their toxins contribute in the repression of the message transfer between the nerves, but take it from us on good faith that vaping does not fare better than conventional cigarettes when it comes to damaging the heart and the lungs of the user.
Why Do Vapes Affect Blood Pressure Negatively?
The fact is that while vapes on their own are pretty damaging, sometimes they just don’t offer the kick many people look for in nicotine, which is where THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) comes in. THC is the major-occurring compound in weed and marijuana, which explains why to get that certain level of high that many people look for, many manufacturers include this compound to get that buzz going in the vape.
However, this compound comes with its own set of problems, one of which is again the blood pressure issue, which is why many users advise against including additives and other compounds (like cannabis oil and THC) into vapes, which can cause further complications with the blood pressure issue.
The Bottom Line
Yes, vaping does affect your blood pressure, it does so by raising it for a considerable amount of time, which in the long run can give rise to some very dangerous heart complications.
And considering that a good majority of smokers use their e-cigarettes and vapes on a daily basis, consistent usage of the vapour can result in a blood pressure that’s constantly peaked, which wears out the heart valves, hardens and constricts the blood vessels, contributing to further complications like myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack), arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis, which if left unchecked and untreated, can lead to permanent damage to the heart, the blood vessels and in acute cases can even result in death.
Therefore, much like it has been with cigarettes over the course of time, it is important to research and be aware of what one is getting into. Sure, vaping might look cool and in tune with the times today, it certainly wont be 30, 40 years down the road when lung cancer or heart attack becomes imminent and an unfortunate reality.