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STUDY: The e-cigarette would change the rate of adrenaline in non-smokers.
STUDY: The e-cigarette would change the rate of adrenaline in non-smokers.

STUDY: The e-cigarette would change the rate of adrenaline in non-smokers.

In the United States, a new study published by the American Heart Association highlights the fact that the use of e-cigarettes containing nicotine by a non-smoker would change the rate of adrenaline to the heart.


First of all, it's important to clarify that the American Heart Association is not really in favor of vaping. Many releases charges against electronic cigarettes have already been proposed by the association.

According to new research published in the newspaper « The American Heart Association“Healthy non-smokers may experience increased levels of adrenaline in the heart after vaping nicotine e-liquid. Indeed, adrenaline being transported by the blood, it acts directly on the heart. His heart rate increases but this can sometimes go as far as causing a tachycardia because the heart is racing.

Holly R. Middlekauff, senior study author and professor of medicine (cardiology) at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA says “ While electronic cigarettes generally provide less carcinogens than those seen in cigarette smoke, they also provide nicotine. Many believe that it is the tar and not the nicotine that leads to an increased risk of cancer and heart attack »

In order to position themselves on the possible safety of vaping, Prof. Middlekauff and his team used a technique called “heart rate variability” obtained from a prolonged and non-invasive recording of the heart rate. Heart rate variability is calculated from the degree of time variability between heartbeats. This variability can indicate the amount of adrenaline on the heart.

This heart rate variability test has already been used in other studies to link increased adrenaline in the heart with increased heart risk.
According to Prof. Middlekauff, this is the first study that separates nicotine from other components in order to observe the impact that electronic cigarettes can have on the human heart. For this study, there were 33 healthy adults who did not were not smokers or vapers.

On different days, each participant used an e-cigarette with nicotine, an e-cigarette without nicotine or a simulator device. Researchers measured cardiac adrenaline activity by assessing heart rate variability and oxidative stress in blood samples by examining the enzyme plasma paroxonase (PON1).


Exposure to nicotine by vaporization resulted in increased levels of adrenaline in the heart, as indicated by the abnormal variability in heart rate.
Oxidative stress, which increases the risk for atherosclerosis and heart attack, showed no change after exposure to e-cigarettes with and without nicotine. For Prof. Middlekauff, if the number of markers studied for oxidative stress were minimal, further confirmatory studies would be needed.

« While it is reassuring that the non-nicotine components do not have a clear effect on adrenaline levels in the heart, these results cast doubt on the concept that inhaled nicotine is benign or safe. Our study showed that the use of an acute electronic cigarette with nicotine increases cardiac adrenaline levels. As the level of cardiac adrenaline is associated with an increased risk in patients who have experienced heart disease and even in patients without known heart disease, I think this is of great concern and that non-smokers should be discouraged. to use electronic cigarette" page (in French).

According to him, electronic cigarettes, like all tobacco products, pose risks. Regarding future studies, they should take a closer look at oxidative stress when using e-cigarettes by using more cardiac markers with a larger population.


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About the Author

Passionate about journalism, I decided to join the editorial team of in 2017 in order to mainly deal with vape news in North America (Canada, United States).