If you are planning to quit smoking, then picking up vaping to reduce the frequency can be a bad idea, researchers say.
According to the researchers, combining traditional cigarettes with e-cigarettes may result in harmful health effects similar to smoking cigarettes exclusively.
“Some people who smoke cigarettes, pick up e-cigarette use to reduce the frequency with which they smoke cigarettes. They often become dual users of both products rather than switching entirely from one to the other,” said Andrew C. Stokes, Assistant Professor at Boston University School in the US.
“If e-cigarettes are used as a means to quit smoking, cigarette smoking should be completely replaced and a plan to ultimately attain freedom from all tobacco products should be advised,” Stokes added.
The study suggests that the participants who used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes had levels of all inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers comparable to those who smoked exclusively.
For the study, published in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation, researchers studied the association of cigarette smoking and e-cigarette use with inflammation and oxidative stress as biomarkers in more than 7,100 US adults.
According to the researchers, inflammation and oxidative stress are key contributors to smoking-induced cardiovascular disease, and their biomarkers have been shown to be predictors of cardiovascular events, including heart attack and heart failure.
Five biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress were analyzed. Participants were slotted into four categories based on the use of traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes within a 30-day period: non-use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes; exclusive vaping; exclusive cigarette smoking; and dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
To test the robustness of initial results, the scientists repeated the analyses in subgroups of respondents, including those with no past 30-day use of any other tobacco products.
Of the study participants, more than half (58.6 percent) did not use cigarettes or e-cigarettes; nearly 2 percent vaped exclusively; about 30 percent smoked cigarettes exclusively, and about 10 percent used e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes.
The analysis found that participants who vaped exclusively showed a similar inflammatory and oxidative stress profile as people who did not smoke cigarettes or use e-cigarettes.
Participants who smoked exclusively and those who used cigarettes and e-cigarettes had higher levels across all biomarkers assessed compared to participants who did not use cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
Compared to participants who smoked exclusively, those who vaped exclusively had significantly lower levels of almost all inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers.