Study: Nicotine-free e-cigarettes may damage blood vessels after single use

A single use of nicotine-free electronic cigarettes can damage a person’s blood vessels, according to a study published in Radiology. The finding adds to the growing body of literature that suggests that vaping isn’t harmless.

Researchers funded by NHLBI enrolled 31 people in their 20s and early 30s who had never smoked a traditional or electronic cigarette. To study how vaping affected blood vessels, researchers cuffed each person’s thigh to restrict blood flow to the femoral artery before and after they took just 16 puffs on a nicotine-free e-cigarette. Researchers then took an MRI image after removing the cuff from each participant.

The MRI images showed normal, healthy blood flow before the participants vaped, and reduced blood flow one hour after vaping. The study’s findings imply that vaping over time could cause cumulative damage in the blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease.