Some smokers may be aware that smoking raises blood pressure, among other things. So where do we stand if we switch from cigarettes to e-cigs?
The first thing to be aware of is that smoking doesn’t necessarily cause high blood pressure. However, the exposure to nicotine in a cigarette does raise the blood pressure. It’s just that it happens for a short period of time. So you smoke a cigarette, your BP rises, and after a while it falls back to its normal level.
Does the same apply with e-cigarettes?
Cutting down or switching to e-cigs seems to be better for your blood pressure than stopping smoking altogether without switching to e-cigs. It sounds crazy, but the research appears to back it up. Dr Farsalinos has written extensively about the effects of e-cigs on blood pressure. He has explored the results taken from the ECLAT study – a study looking into how effective e-cigs are as a method for quitting smoking.
According to the results of this study, people who had normal BP readings at the start continued to get similar results throughout the 52 weeks the study lasted for. The real interest started when looking at those whose BP was already raised. This group experienced a drop in systolic BP when either switching to e-cigs or cutting their cigarette smoking habit in half.
Could nicotine have beneficial properties?
Other studies have also highlighted the power nicotine seems to have to reduce blood pressure. One doctor has researched whether nicotine could help those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. He discovered nicotine had the effect of reducing blood pressure in test subjects.
So what’s the truth?
Many people have been able to quit smoking completely with the aid of electronic cigarettes. We know smoking is bad for our health, so it might come as a surprise to realise that nicotine may not have quite the effect we first thought.
Of course, plenty more research must be done before we know for certain how BP can change (for the better or worse) as a result of smoking or using e-cigs. But this particular research does give food for thought. In fact, if you’re considering switching from smoking to vaping, it could give you the final push you need to make the change.
Finally, staying healthy in other ways will no doubt help too, although weight and age were factored into the results with this particular study.