New York: Exposure to either e-cigarette aerosol or smokeless tobacco alone can increase the potential of atherosclerosis – a disease that leads to heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease, says a study.
When atherosclerosis affects the arteries of the heart, it is known as coronary artery disease, a condition that affects more than 15 million Americans and causes 500,000 deaths annually.
“Currently, we do not know whether e-cigarettes are harmful. They do not generate smoke as do conventional cigarettes but they do generate an aerosol – the vapour that alters indoor air quality and contains toxic aldehydes,” said Daniel J. Conklin from the University of Louisville in the US.
“We investigated the direct effects of these toxins on cardiovascular disease in the laboratory,” Conklin stated.
For the study, researchers exposed one set of mice to varying levels of e-cigarette aerosol, tobacco smoke, smokeless tobacco or to an aldehyde produced by tobacco.
Another set of mice was exposed to nicotine alone to understand whether nicotine by itself had any effect.
Not surprisingly and consistent with previous studies, exposure to tobacco smoke increased the amount of atherosclerosis in mice. At the same time, the researchers found that either e-cigarette aerosol or smokeless tobacco exposure alone also increased atherosclerosis.
“These findings indicate that multiple tobacco-derived constituents have cardiovascular disease-causing potential,” Conklin noted.