Heat-not-burn cigarettes lighter on the heart

10 Jun 2021

Heat-not-burn cigarettes (HNBCs) seem to have a less detrimental effect on cardiovascular function compared to traditional tobacco cigarettes (Tcig), a recent study has found.

The present study was divided into an acute and chronic phase. In the acute study, 50 smokers were randomly assigned to smoke a single Tcig or HNBC and were crossed over to the alternate cigarette after 60 minutes. In the chronic phase, 50 Tcig smokers were switched over to HNBCs, were observed for a month, and compared against an external group of 25 Tcig smokers.

In the acute phase, both HNBC (p=0.04) and Tcig (p=0.005) smoking led to a significant spike in pulse wave velocity (PWV) relative to baseline. However, the magnitude of change was significantly after Tcig smoking (difference, 0.57 m/s, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.005–1.131; p=0.04).

Tcigs also led to an acute increase in brachial systolic blood pressure (p=0.03), heart rate (p=0.02), malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (p=0.03), thromboxane B2 (TxB2) levels (p=0.02), and exhaled carbon monoxide (p<0.001), none of which were observed after HNBC puffing.

In the chronic study, switching to HNBCs for 1 month led to significant improvements in exhaled carbon monoxide, flow-mediated dilation, coronary flow reserve, total arterial compliance, global longitudinal strain, waster myocardial work, and MDA and TxB2 levels (p<0.05 for all) relative to Tcig smoking.

“Long term follow-up is needed to assess whether the observed improvement in vascular and myocardial function, after switching to HBNC, is associated with reduced cardiovascular events,” the researchers said.

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