Are e-cigarettes less damaging to blood vessels than regular cigarettes?

Vascular Effects of Smoking Usual cigarettes Versus electronIc cigaretteS (VESUVIUS)

Jacob George (lead researcher)

Dundee, University of

Start date: 01 February 2016 (Duration 2 years 9 months)

Dr Jacob George wants to find out whether smoking electronic cigarettes is kinder to blood vessels than smoking normal cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are marketed as a safer option for people who want to stop smoking. However, although they do not contain most of the 4000 chemicals found in regular cigarettes, they are not completely harmless.

Recently scientists have found that nicotine itself can contribute to the development of coronary artery disease. E-cigarettes also contain cancer-causing molecules such as nitrosamine, and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, that are not found in regular cigarettes. They also contain tobacco-specific impurities that might be harmful. It is unclear what effect these chemicals have on blood vessel health.

In this project, Dr George will carry out a clinical study in 127 smokers to compare the effects of smoking electronic cigarettes with regular cigarettes on blood vessel function, an early marker of coronary artery disease.

Although e-cigarettes are likely to cause significantly less harm to our health than smoking tobacco, more research is needed to confirm this. Dr George’s research will be important in finding out if e-cigarettes are a safer option for blood vessel health than regular cigarettes.

Project details

Grant amount £199,368
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 01 February 2016
Duration 2 years 9 months
Reference PG/15/64/31681
Status In progress

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