The Risk of Stroke is Significantly Higher for Young Adults who Use Both E-Cigs and Combustible Cigarettes

Young adults who smoke a combination of combustible cigarettes and electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are almost twice as likely to suffer a stroke as those who only smoke e-cigs, and nearly three times as likely to have a stroke as non-smokers, according to a study which appeared in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

In this 2019 study, researchers analyzed a sample of 161,529 participants from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. The population of interest were all between the ages of 18 and 44. They used logistic regression to examine the link between e-cig and combustible cigarette smoking while adjusting for patient demographics, comorbidities (with or without history), as well as concurrent use of both e-cigs and combustible cigarettes.

Following analysis, the results showed that dual use of e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes was associated with 2.91 times higher odds of stroke versus nonsmokers (AOR=2.91, 95% CI=1.62 to 5.25) and 1.83 times higher odds versus current sole combustible cigarette users (AOR=1.83, 95% CI=1.06 to 3.17). “It’s long been known that smoking cigarettes is among the most significant risk factors for stroke. Our study shows that young smokers who also use e-cigarettes put themselves at an even greater risk,” said lead investigator Tarang Parekh, MBBS, MSc, Department of Health Administration and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA in a press release.

“This is an important message for young smokers who perceive e-cigarettes as less harmful and consider them a safer alternative. We have begun understanding the health impact of e-cigarettes and concomitant cigarette smoking, and it’s not good.”

“Our findings demonstrate an additive harmful effect of e-cigarettes on smokers’ blood vessels, hearts and brains,” added Mr. Parekh.

Mr. Parekh cautioned that people should “consider this study as a wake-up call for young vapers, clinicians, and healthcare policymakers. There is an urgency to regulate such products to avoid economic and population health consequences and a critical need to conduct further research on the benefits and risks of smoking-cessation alternatives.”