A recent study by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) found that people who use e-cigarettes, or vapes, are significantly more likely to develop heart failure compared with people who have never used them.


E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular since they were introduced in the late 2000s. Among Latino youth, e-cigarettes are the most used tobacco product, according to Truth Initiative, a nonprofit encouraging smoking cessation among young people.


About 15% of Latino youth reported using any tobacco product, according to a 2022 study. Latino youth also experience the highest levels of exposure to tobacco advertisements compared with Black and white youth, the study reports.


“More and more studies are linking e-cigarettes to harmful effects and finding that it might not be as safe as previously thought,” study lead author Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, MD, a resident physician at MedStar Health in Baltimore, said in an ACC news release. “The difference we saw was substantial. It’s worth considering the consequences to your health, especially with regard to heart health.”


The ACC study utilized data from surveys and electronic health records from a large National Institutes of Health study titled All of Us. Results showed that people who used e-cigarettes at any point were about 19% more likely to develop heart failure compared with those who never used the product.


Heart failure is a serious condition that can occur at any age but is more likely to affect people ages 65 and older. The condition is characterized by a weakened heart that cannot supply the body’s cells with enough oxygen and nutrient-rich blood. It affects nearly 6.5 million Americans over age 20.


Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart failure, is a leading cause of death among U.S. Latinos. In fact, the overall prevalence of cardiovascular disease among this group is 8.2%. Specifically, heart failure occurs in about 2.4% of Latino men and 1.7% of Latina women.


It has long been confirmed that smoking is a top risk factor for heart disease alongside unhealthy diet, alcohol use and lack of physical activity. Yet surveys show that about 5% to 10% of U.S. teens and adults use e-cigarettes, according to the ACC.


“I think this research is long overdue, especially considering how much e-cigarettes have gained traction,” Bene-Alhasan said. “We don’t want to wait too long to find out eventually that it might be harmful, and by that time a lot of harm might already have been done. With more research, we will get to uncover a lot more about the potential health consequences and improve the information out to the public.”


To read more, click #E-Cigarette or #Vaping. There, you’ll find headlines such as “E-Cigs Are Still Flooding the U.S., Addicting Teens With Higher Nicotine Doses,” “Studies Show Damaging Effects of Vaping, Smoking on Blood Vessels” and “Your Phone Could Help You Hang Up on Smoking.”