“This is the first real data that we’re seeing associating e-cigarette use with hard cardiovascular events.”
– Larry Goldstein, Kentucky Neuroscience Institute
Not that long ago, a link between vaping and heart disease seemed unlikely. When e-cigarettes entered the marketplace, they were touted as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, even offering a path to smoking cessation. We heard that vaping only produced water “vapor,” positioning e-cigarettes as a far less harmful product than cigarettes.
However, a recent survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a very real link between vaping and heart disease. Specifically, people who use e-cigarettes have a 59% higher risk of heart attack and a 40% higher risk of heart disease.
Where does this link come from? Just like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes have the addictive property of nicotine. Nicotine itself can significantly elevate your blood pressure and adrenaline, leading to an accelerated heart rate and a far greater likelihood for you to experience a heart attack.
It’s safe to say that, well, e-cigarettes are far from safe. What more, the data shows that e-cigarette users will be twice as likely to smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Teenagers Especially Vulnerable
According to the American Heart Association, over 5 million teens use e-cigarettes – a number that doubled in only two years. In one year, the U.S. Surgeon General found that the use of e-cigarettes in teens had grown by 900%.
We tend to forget that the heart, brain and lungs are still in development mode in those teenage years. These organs won’t typically reach full development for several more years beyond high school. That’s very concerning because the nicotine in an e-cigarette is unusually high in comparison to cigarettes.
To illustrate, imagine one teenager smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. Three packs a day! That sounds obscene and deadly, correct? Well, there is evidence that teens are vaping through between two and four e-cigarette refill pods per day – and each of those pods has a nicotine level that is equivalent to one entire pack of cigarettes. So you have the extraordinarily addictive properties of nicotine working to draw in susceptible teens and once they’re hooked, those same teens could experience a profoundly negative, potentially life-long impact on their brain development and cognitive learning abilities. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that teens seeking a heightened experience from e-cigarettes would buy cartridges that have even higher concentrations of nicotine in them.
Are there fewer chemicals in e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes? Probably. Yet, by the end of 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had attributed 54 deaths to vaping.
What Can You Do About It?
American Heart Month is an excellent time to educate your co-workers – and your children – about the significant risks to the heart’s health associated with vaping. Your kids and even younger employees may believe heart disease is an “old person’s problem” and will never impact them. That couldn’t be more wrong. Imagine if you have a valuable employee who has to be down for several months due to going into cardiac arrest as the result of vaping. Obviously you’ll care about their health and well-being but you undoubtedly have to care about the impact to your company’s bottom line and productivity from having such a key person out of the equation.
With this in mind, take advantage of a great opportunity to connect with leading local authorities in the community like SOS Technologies, who can provide a larger understanding of vaping and heart disease as it pertains to the impact to one’s heart from e-cigarettes.
While SOS can’t completely stop people across the board from vaping (even though we’d like to), we can prepare your team for the unfortunate event of a co-worker nearby going into cardiac arrest. SOS does training of how to operate an AED and administer CPR, so we can supply you with one of our safety consultants right on-site at your place of business to get you ready to act swiftly to hopefully save a life – regardless of whether that victim’s cardiac arrest was caused from vaping or not. Talk more about it with SOS by calling us today at 888.705.6100.