A new study has begun to measure the long-term impact of vaping on the body’s cardiovascular system.
Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University will assess health markers in people who use e-cigarettes compared to those who smoke and those who do neither.
The study, which is expected to take 18 months to complete, will measure the quality of blood vessels in the arm and neck and specifically their elasticity – which is an indicator of vascular health.
Studies have shown the elasticity in smokers is worse than non-smokers. Researchers believe vapers suffer from the same impact.
Dr Max Boudin, researcher at the university’s Institute of Sport, said: “The study will look at the chronic and acute effects of using a vape on vascular health.
“We know already the long-term impact of smoking behaviour on cardiovascular health but for e-cigarettes it is not the case yet.
“From discussions with clinical experts, they have mentioned already they have seen some symptoms like coughing, chest pain or lung dysfunction.
“So we can see the early markers of this dysfunction of using a vape at the moment.”
Among those taking part in the study is Jack Harvey, a former smoker who has been vaping for three years.
He said: “I’d say it’s probably more addictive than cigarettes for me. And with the accessibility of having it in your pocket or on your person at all times it just makes it a lot harder to stop.”
The study has been launched at a time when calls for research into the long-term effects of vaping have intensified.
There is also speculation the government might ban disposable vapes to curb use among young people. Adult smokers have been encouraged to vape as a means of quitting cigarettes.
“It is definitely much less harmful than smoking but that doesn’t mean to say it is risk-free,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health.
“We do need longer-term research to show what the impact is so that people who have never smoked know the risks they are putting themselves to by vaping.”