‘Another nail in the coffin’ - vaping study shows link to heart failure


‘Another nail in the coffin’ - vaping study shows link to heart failure

Media Release from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation
2 minutes to Read
Unfiltered 2021

Vaping has emerged as a potential link to heart failure - a condition that is becoming more common in younger people, a new study shows.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation believes the new research provides further evidence that vaping is harmful to your health.

The study - out of MedStar Health in Baltimore was presented at the recent American College of Cardiology’s Annual (ACC) conference - analysed data from 175,667 patients. Of these, 3,242 developed new heart failure within a median follow-up period of 45 months. It signalled a trend and encouraged further research.

Foundation Chief Executive Ms Letitia Harding says for years, vaping has been marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, but the truth is it has its own health issues.

"It is yet another nail in the coffin for vaping, and why we don’t want non-smokers taking it up.

"We’ve been telling decision-makers since 2017 that vapes are harmful and need tough regulations surrounding where and how people can obtain them, but they have failed to heed our advice," she says.

"All you have to do is walk down the street and follow the plumes of vape to find out how widespread the issue is."

Dr Sarah Fairley, Cardiology Advisor to the Foundation, says seeing the link between vaping and heart failure is a red flag that we need to take notice of.

"We have known for several years that vaping is harmful to the lungs.

"There is now research coming through on the link between vaping and long-term poor heart health," she says.

"It is our job to provide people with the information to enable them to make decisions that will benefit their lung and heart health in the long term."

Dr Fairley urges people who don’t smoke to think twice before picking up a vape, she says.

"The toll it can take on your heart and lungs is a huge gamble."

Heart failure is a condition where the heart muscle cannot pump effectively because it is weak or stiff.

The condition is becoming more common in younger people in New Zealand.

This recent study shows a particular link between vaping and heart failure due to muscle stiffening.

"Every new piece of evidence, like this study, reinforces the urgent need for action to protect our rangatahi from the harms of vaping."

Ms Harding says people need to be vigilant with vapes, or - better yet - if you aren’t using them to try and quit smoking, don’t use them at all.

"It's important that people - especially our youth - understand the heart and lung risks they're taking when they pick up a vape.

"We already have an overburdened healthcare system, the last thing we need to do is put more pressure on it in the future."