Vaping and High Blood Pressure: Hurt or Help for the Heart?

Vaping and high blood pressure do not seem like two things that might go hand in hand. But for the many people who took part in the exodus from traditional tobacco products to e-cigarettes for health reasons, vaping, and its relation to incidences of high blood pressure might seem germane to each other.

Vaping and High Blood Pressure - Hurt or Help for the Heart

Vaping vs. Smoking

The effects of smoking tobacco on the body are well-known. From the noxious carbon monoxide gas to the cancer-causing chemicals, cigarettes will occupy indefinitely, the number one spot for things that are bad for your health.

The long-term health effects of vaping, however, are still to be studied or determined. This uncertainty is what prevents anti-smoking advocates from recommending e-cigarettes as a suitable aid in quitting smoking.

While most experts can agree that smoking a cigarette and vaping an e-cigarette is not one in the same, they still recognize that there are health risks associated with an e-cigarette. An e-cigarette, after all, acts as a delivery vehicle for nicotine.

The Nicotine Curse

Nicotine and its prevalence in e-liquid juices vaped by vapers are what stains the otherwise clean health record of e-cigarettes. So while the hazards associated with smoking do not occur with vaping, e-cigarettes carry their own health risks and that is partly attributable to nicotine.

These are some of the effects non-smoking nicotine consumption can have on the body:

  • Restricted blood vessels
  • Raising of heart rate
  • Hardening of arteries
  • Increased nicotine exposure can lead to Type 2 diabetes
  • Increased levels of insulin in the body
  • Nicotine is an addictive stimulant, so continual usage can change the brain’s chemistry
  • Altered brain chemistry is especially troubling for young people, who might in the future be more susceptible to other addictive behaviors
  • Exposure to high concentrations of pure nicotine can be fatal

Something that is lost in the debate on whether e-cigarettes are suitable as nicotine replacement, especially by advocates of vaping, was pointed out by cardiologist Dr. John Ryan of the University of Utah.

Dr. Ryan, perhaps correctly, points out that while e-cigarettes, like other nicotine replacement therapies, can help a person transition from lethal cigarette smoking to mere nicotine ingestion, people continue using e-cigarettes.

While people on NRT’s eventually phase out nicotine altogether, e-cigarettes continue feeding nicotine addiction, and with it, all the other negative effects nicotine has on the body, high blood pressure included. Dr. Ryan also points out that e-cigarettes contribute to the “re-normalizing” of “cigarette smoking, nicotine consumption, and tobacco use.”

Ingesting nicotine is something people do not have to do, Dr. Ryan wisely points out, unlike with eating and regulating food or fat consumption. If ingesting nicotine leads to increased blood pressure, restricting blood vessels and hardening of the arteries, all of which can lead to a heart attack, why continue ingesting nicotine at all, seems to be the question Dr. Ryan wants to ask.

The Heart Will Go On

Advocates of e-cigarettes and vaping always point to how e-cigarettes differ completely from regular tobacco smoking. And in some cases, they are right.

In their eagerness to win over a skeptical public, however, vaping advocates should not paper over the serious health risks, like high blood pressure, associated with continuous nicotine ingestion.

One thing that cigarettes and e-cigarettes have in common is their need for repeat customers.
Advocating e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes is one thing, but it does not make e-cigarette proponents health advocates as well.

The e-cigarette industry still needs customers, and that is entirely understandable. However, someone looking to be free of the risks associated with nicotine should give it up altogether.

Published: October 10, 2017 Updated: April 5, 2019



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9 comments on “Vaping and High Blood Pressure: Hurt or Help for the Heart?

  • Barb

    October 25, 2021 at 9:34 am

    I was looking for information on vaping. Specifically as to how it affects people who live with someone who vapes.
    If it can cause high blood pressure second hand. Has that even been studied.

  • CiggyFree

    August 16, 2019 at 5:59 am

    I’ve been checking BP daily since (SCAD) heart attack in 2015. Quit cigarettes fall of 2018 by moving to vaping. Weaned down from 12 mgs to 1.75 mgs currently. Was very surprised as I looked through pre-vaping records that the systolic pressure had increased from an average of 115 to an average of 124.

    Trying to get off the vaping now. It was the only thing that worked to get me off the 40 year smoking addiction so hopefully I can now get off the vaping. I had tried all other methods over 10 years.

    Now my advice would be, use for short term but get off vaping as soon as possible too.

  • Stefan

    November 6, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Sadly same story here. Went to the doctor to check out something else and they tested the bp. It was very high. Tested a few more times and systolic been above 190 and dystolic above 120. Was put on meds. To early to say if things changes but I have had a suspicion that it is easy to overdose nicotine when vaping, even if I am only using 3 mg/ml. I am using a 50 watt Eleaf Ijust 2. Have to try and dump it for now and hopefully I will see a change in a few days.

  • Cody

    August 22, 2018 at 7:03 am

    To help quit chewing I started vaping. I never had high blood pressure before in my life. Vaping was so easy to do that I found myself doing it all the time. After 6 months I had some routine dental cleanings and later a physical. Had very high BP so went to see a cardiologist. He put me on BP pills then later had to up the dosage and that didn’t work. I put 2 and 2 together and stopped vaping. My bp went back to a normal range within 3 days and has stayed there. When I chewed and smoked at times I never had high BP but did with vaping. Its a shame because I sure liked it.

  • S

    August 18, 2018 at 4:35 am

    I am using it to actually help me stop smoking weed for a while and i woke up with my heart freaking out time to slow the f**k down in 18 years of smoking pot i never had any issues but i have to take a piss test for union even though it legal in my state such bs i was better off on weed

  • Terri Simmons

    July 9, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    I have spent 2 years in and out of hospitals with chronic low blood pressure most the time in ICU. I even ended up with a pacemaker. I gave up vaping a few days ago and without the 11 medications the dr had me on. My blood pressure has returned to normal.

  • joe browning

    May 7, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Made mine go up now on meds. I’d avoid from now on

  • Ellen s. Grimes

    December 27, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I just started vaping about a month ago and I’m just wondering if it will make my blood pressure go high because now the doctor says my blood pressure is really high so I’m wondering if the vaping is doing it I sure hope not because I really like they Poppin

    • adham k abdelrehim

      March 17, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      The problem with vaping is that we use it all day and at the end we dont know how much nicotine did we inhale- thats the risk