Vaping may cause substantially higher risk of heart failure, study finds

Vaping may cause a “substantial” increase in the risk of heart failure, scientists have found.

People who vape are 19 per cent more likely to develop heart failure compared with those who never used e-cigarettes, new research has suggested.

According to the NHS, heart failure means the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly. It usually happens because the heart has become too weak or stiff.

It is estimated more than one million people in the UK have heart failure, according to the British Heart Foundation.

Dr Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, the study’s lead author from MedStar Health in Baltimore, USA, said: “More and more studies are linking e-cigarettes to harmful effects and finding that it might not be as safe as previously thought.

“The difference we saw was substantial. It’s worth considering the consequences to your health, especially with regard to heart health.”

The study found that people who used e-cigarettes were at increased risk of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction – in which the heart muscle becomes stiff and does not properly fill with blood between contractions.

However, there was no link with reduced ejection fraction, in which the heart muscle becomes weak and the left ventricle does not squeeze as hard as it should during contractions.

It is estimated more one million people in the UK have heart failure, according to the British Heart Foundation (AP)
It is estimated more one million people in the UK have heart failure, according to the British Heart Foundation (AP)

It is also not clear why vaping may also increase the risk.

Researchers said the new study findings point to a need for additional investigations of the potential impacts of vaping on heart health.

The findings will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session beginning 6 April.

Last month, the UK Government introduced legislation aimed at curbing youth smoking with the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, which aims to tackle youth vaping by introducing new powers to restrict vape flavours and packaging intentionally marketed at children.

The Bill will also effectively raise the age of tobacco sale by one year every year, with the aim of stopping today’s youngsters from ever taking up smoking in the first place.

When the legislation was announced in January, prime minister Rishi Sunak said: “As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic.

“The long-term impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine within them can be highly addictive, so while vaping can be a useful tool to help smokers quit, marketing vapes to children is not acceptable.

“Alongside our commitment to stop children who turn 15 this year or younger from ever legally being sold cigarettes, these changes will leave a lasting legacy by protecting our children’s health for the long term.”

The government has committed to ban disposable vapes from April 2025 under environmental laws.