E-cigarettes and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: What Clinicians and Researchers Need to Know

Audrey Darville, Ellen J. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), e-cigarettes, or vapes, are growing in use and popularity. E-cigarettes are not one distinct type of product. These devices have evolved from the initial “cigarette-alike” designs to larger tank-style devices and most recently, smaller “mod-pods” that can be easily hidden. E-cigarettes can deliver nicotine at levels similar to conventional cigarettes. Recent Findings: As with conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes expose users to chemicals and particulates that affect many biological systems including the heart, lungs, and circulation. Most e-cigarettes contain and emit potentially toxic but highly variable substances. Only by using them in total abstinence from combustible tobacco products can users reduce (not eliminate) their exposure to these harmful chemicals. However, most adults smoking e-cigarettes are dual users, meaning they smoke both conventional and e-cigarettes. Summary: This review of the current cardiovascular-specific literature related to e-cigarette use explores what is known (and unknown) about the short- and long-term effects of using these devices. Specifically, the effects of nicotine, oxidizing agents, and particulates in e-cigarettes are examined in the context of cardiovascular and lung health. The goal is to assist clinicians when discussing e-cigarettes with their patients and to help them analyze the impact of use on cardiovascular health. Recommendations are provided related to clinical treatment and research to address gaps in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalCurrent Atherosclerosis Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • E-cigarette
  • ENDS
  • Nicotine
  • Vaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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