India may have banned all vapes and e-cigarette devices, but that still hasn’t stopped most from believing that thick clouds of vaporised smoke wafting from their mouths are safer than smoking their tobacco-filled alternative. But while some research suggests that vaping is a great way to wean yourself off your cigarette addiction and causes fewer cardiovascular complications, a study conducted last year for the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Honolulu says that vaping causes a higher risk of heart disease and strokes. Now, a new study reports that those who vape while also enjoying their share of cigarettes smoke are twice as likely to suffer a stroke.
Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the research analysed more than 1,60,000 responses on cigarette and e-cigarette use from mostly male participants in the age range of 18 to 44. It concluded that the dual use of e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes was associated with 2.91 times higher odds of getting a stroke. While the chances of a stroke for cigarette smokers was 1.83 times more than a non-smoker, this number spiked to 2.54 for people who stop smoking cigarettes and have exclusively switched to vaping.
Factors considered in this ratio included frequency of use of cigarettes or vaping devices, demographic factors, hypertension, health history like diabetes, and cholesterol levels, body mass index, physical activity, and alcohol consumption. Ultimately, this research concludes that there is no real health benefit of switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, but also cautions that long-term effects of e-cigarette smoking on cerebrovascular metabolism should also be considered.
“Our study shows that young smokers who also use e-cigarettes put themselves at an even greater risk," said lead investigator of the study, Dr Tarang Parekh. "Our findings demonstrate an additive harmful effect of e-cigarettes on smokers' blood vessels, hearts and brains." He added, "This is an important message for young smokers who perceive e-cigarettes as less harmful and consider them a safer alternative.”
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This article originally appeared on VICE IN.