Vaping and smoking together doubles likelihood of stroke, new study warns

The results considered over 160,000 responses from smokers 

6 January 2020
Moya Lothian-McLean

New research suggests young people who vape alongside smoking are twice as likely to suffer from a stroke as those who only smoke cigarettes. 

The study warns that those who use e-cigarettes and standard cigarettes in tandem could potentially be putting themselves even further at risk from smoking-related diseases. 

Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the research investigated “adjusted odds ratios [AORs]” for cerebrovascular events – like strokes. 

A team from George Mason University examined data from the 2016-17 Behaviour Risk Factor Surveillance System (an annual health survey carried out across the USA) during the study.

They analysed over 160,000 responses on cigarette and e-cigarette use from participants aged between 18 and 44, most of whom were male. 

The findings showed the AOR of a cerebrovascular event among current smokers was 1.59. 

For those who had switched to vaping exclusively, the AOR jumped to 2.54. 

But for those who continue to vape and smoke cigarettes, the AOR was 2.91. 

“It’s long been known that smoking cigarettes is among the most significant risk factors for stroke,” said Dr Tarang Parekh, the study’s lead investigator. 

“[Now] our study shows that young smokers who also use e-cigarettes put themselves at an even greater risk.This is an important message for young smokers who perceive e-cigarettes as less harmful and consider them a safer alternative.

“We have begun understanding the health impact of e-cigarettes and concomitant cigarette smoking, and it’s not good.”

The results come as the UK medicines watchdog, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), considers plans to ask vaping companies to fund research into flavoured liquids used in e-cigarettes, after they flavours like mint have been linked to heart and lung disease.

The USA has already banned many e-liquid flavours after fears they were linked to the deaths of fifty-five people. 

Independent