A month-long study of 114 smokers (the largest trial of its kind) conducted at the University of Dundee showed that making the switch to vaping can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Chemicals in cigarettes narrow arteries as they get furred up with fatty deposits, increasing the risk of a deadly blockage, which means smoking doubles your risk of having a heart attack.

The British Heart Foundation said stopping smoking was the “single best thing you could do for your heart”.

This study monitored smoker’s blood vessels a month after they switched to e-cigarettes on the trial, focusing on how blood vessels expand when a wave of blood rushes through by measuring “flow-mediated dilation”. The more the blood vessels expand, the healthier they are, and as such, these scores have been closely linked to the long-term risk of heart attacks and stroke.

The results, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed:

  • Healthy non-smokers had a score of 7.7%
  • Smokers had a score of 5.5%
  • After a month of switching to e-cigarettes, this score changed to 6.7%

Within this 1-month time frame, chronic smokers showed significant improvements in vascular endothelial function, even among those participants who were dual-using e-cigarettes and vaping. The benefits of total switching may have been even more significant if subjects fully complied with the switch.

Professor Jacob George, one of the researchers on the study, said: “We now have clear evidence [that e-cigarettes] are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.”

“This randomised trial provides clear evidence of a reduction in a marker of cardiovascular disease risk in people who switch from smoking to vaping.

“The finding of the study, that vaping is less harmful than smoking, is intuitively correct on the grounds of the lower range of levels of emissions known to be present in vapour relative to tobacco smoke.” Professor John Britton, director of the UK centre for tobacco and alcohol studies at the University of Nottingham.