Claim: E-cigarettes may pose the same or higher risk of stroke severity as tobacco smoke

As stupid as EPA’s claim that breathing outdoor air is more dangerous than smoking.

There is no evidence to support this claim in human populations. Inhalation experiments in lab animals don’t really work — i.e., the lab animals change their breathing pattern in response to junk in the air. Also, mice aren’t little people and there is no credible evidence that smoking by itself (vs., say, the smoking lifestyle) increases stroke risk.

For more on the referenced EPA claim, read “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.”

The media release and abstract are below.


E-cigarettes may pose the same or higher risk of stroke severity as tobacco smoke


Electronic cigarette (e-cigarettes) vaping may pose just as much or even higher risk as smoking tobacco for worsening a stroke, according to a preliminary study in mice presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers found:

Mice exposed to e-cigarette vapor for 10 days or 30 days had worse stroke outcome and neurological deficits, than those exposed to tobacco smoke.

E-cigarette exposure decreased glucose uptake in the brain. Glucose fuels brain activity.

Both e-Cig and tobacco smoke exposure for 30 days significantly impaired circulating levels of an enzyme required for clotting — potentially increasing the risk for stroke and worsened secondary brain injury.

From a brain health perspective, researchers said, electronic-cigarette vaping is not safer than tobacco smoking, and may pose a similar, if not higher risk for stroke severity.

Use of e-cigarettes is a growing health concern in both smoking and nonsmoking populations. Researchers said rigorous studies are needed to investigate the effects of the nicotine exposure via e-cigarettes on brain and stroke outcome.


14 thoughts on “Claim: E-cigarettes may pose the same or higher risk of stroke severity as tobacco smoke”

  1. Very interesting scientific discussion: the chemistry of the process is now clear. You are missing the medical side, though. Compare lung (and others correlated, i.e. throath) cancer risk and cerebrovascular damage risk: cigarettes cause both, while e cig is correlated just with the less frequent of the two; hence it should be always remarked that it could be a powerful tool to quit smoking, or at least to reduce damage by carbon particles in chronic smokers (for the educational purpose you mentioned). Also i don’t think people could start smoking from e cig as they do with regular cigarettes, for psychological reasons (lesser fashion of the item).

  2. As I have feared. You all tend to be the type of people who throw out the baby with the bath water.

    I misspoke because a stroke is a brain event and cardiovascular tends to focus on the heart. So I have a personal bias in using the term when talking of stroke. I went Neurologic in error when i meant encephalon. That doesn’t negate fact, just makes me a poor word chooser.

    Since thrombomodulin is not found in the brain, then by smoking one makes themselves even more susceptible to having a stroke since the mechanism to prevent clotting gets repressed and the brain has no internal defense when a clot eventually does make its way to the brain.

  3. With all due respect, this problem is about junk real science, not opinions about substance abuse…..

    We have here a reproducible animal experiment which would most likely give similar results however often it was replicated……..real [biological] science…..
    It showed nicotine abuse by mice increased their susceptibility to ischemic/thrombotic brain problems by repressing thrombomodulin, which is well known to be absent from the human brain. thus making the results irrelevant to humans…………
    To compound the degree of BS in this SNAFU, the AHA, on which millions of people rely for health information, published in the above ‘media release and abstract’ a statement so mindless as to invite ridicule from anyone with any clues on biomedical facts……junk science……

  4. @James Smith, who wrote: “Firstly, there are quite a few studies that demonstrate animal testing results, especially rats, which have 93% of the same Genome structure as humans …”

    Percentage of DNA shared is irrelevant. Humans share 50% of our DNA with bananas but no one is suggesting that bananas can smoke or suffer from strokes, are they?

    Second … and this demonstrates how absolutely clueless you are … strokes are cardiovascular events, not neurological. Not even knowing what a stroke is disavows you from any right to post further nescience.

  5. James Smith — Yes there is danger. The question is how much are you willing to accept. You accepted excessive danger on the front lines. Thank you.

    I am much happier being next to a person who vapes vs a person who smokes. The vape doesn’t make me stink. The risks they are taking are their own. I will not dictate to them what risks they are allowed to make and which ones they aren’t. The only exception is in the “doing harm to others” area, but 2nd hand smoke and below aren’t clearly delineated in the data. You can make the case that the lack of 2nd hand smoke has been detrimental to society, while the lack of first hand smoke has been beneficial.

  6. I don’t want to prattle on, but this is a further gem I’m sure S.M. will like………

    “Thrombomodulin, an endothelial anticoagulant protein, is absent from the human brain.”
    Ishii H, Salem HH, Bell CE, Laposata EA, Majerus PW.

    I’m trying to keep a straight face……
    BTW, I wonder what med-school James Smith attended………
    e.g. “Stroke is a neurological brain issue, not cardiovascular’.

    It really is a pleasant change to see some junk real science instead of the junk nature-study which usually gets trashed here………..
    Cheers, Rog.

  7. With respect: Anti-coagulation is what breaks up clots. This is why aspirin therapy is given those who have had heart attacks or strokes. Daily aspirin therapy prevents the coagulation process from starting. Somewhere above the cox2 development. When I was in college, I actually conducted an experiment that demonstrated where aspirin worked in the coagulation process. People, like myself, who have had strokes, either have a familial disposition that limits one’s Thrombomodulin levels, or we have introduced a foreign substance that limits Thrombomodulin. By preventing Thrombomodulin levels you increase the body’s clotting process, meaning you get more clots, not less. More clots increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. I remember my very autopsy whilst I was attending the US Navy Hospital Corps School: A old female veteran of WW2 was brought in to the ER with shortage of breath, a heart that went into arrest a few times that night, and in general poor shape. Before we could get the tests back, she passed away. In getting medical history, we found out she had been smoking over a pack a day for about 40 or so years, starting with her military service. When we got her on the table and opened her up, there was a cancer tumour the size of a softball in her lungs, along with cysts and other issues elsewhere in her body. Now, even though this eveidence stood in my face, I kept on smoking. That autopsy, obviously, has always stayed with me and it was that memory that got me to decide to quit 10 years later. Of course, when I went back to the front during Iraqi Freedom I started smoking again. That probably laid the foundation for the very small stroke I suffered in 2014.

    I agree with you, sir, that there is nothing more calming than having a smoke, or a drink, especially after a firefight where you come out alive. However, that doesn’t mean either is a safe, healthy behaviour. And the science is actually very sound. If you do something that prevents your body from doing natural anticoagulation, then you increase clots in the body. Increase clots, increase stroke risk. Your quote of the report result only increases the report’s conclusion.

  8. OK: Here is the actual, factual real scientific finding, just obtained from the horse’s mouth courtesy of the eminent real scientist, J.L.H………

    “Both e-Cig and tobacco smoke exposure for 30 days decreased Thrombomodulin (anti-coagulant) levels.”

    I find it difficult to express my utter astonishment that a ‘scientific’ report could state such obvious BS [directly contravening the facts] and get reported by the media…….
    My sympathies to Donald T. in having to deal with fake news on a large scale…It doesn’t help to have ‘scientists’ ignoring this kind of ‘Thru the looking glass’, no-brainer
    drivel or are they too stupid to see the ‘Bleeding obvious’….
    The cost/benefit to a large section of the population from nicotine over the last century or so, despite the lung damage from cigarettes [which has now been circumvented] could well be, IMHO, so low as to be almost negligible….
    How much of the substance abuse now causing havoc is the direct offshoot of the war on nicotine???????
    How many millions of men survived two world wars by being able to keep their cool in battle with the help of nicotine?
    Sad that the majority of people choose to fill their minds with bigotry instead of replacing it with a simple BS filter

  9. Two things:

    Firstly, there are quite a few studies that demonstrate animal testing results, especially rats, which have 93% of the same Genome structure as humans not to mention that rats are also mammals just like us, correlate with human effects. I do agree not all effects and the severity may not be the same, but it has long been demonstrated that responses by mice and rats will be mimicked in humans. Besides, the results are warning and should give one pause if one is considering taking up vaping instead of cigarettes, or to prevent one from thinking they are now “safe” because they no longer smoke cigarettes. The bottom line is one is still putting one’s health at risk by vaping and now we have at least one study that can demonstrate what the potential risk can be.

    Secondly, Stroke is a neurological brain issue, not cardiovascular. By interrupting an enzyme, depending on which in the clotting cascade, there is a risk of greater damage because the blood cannot be clotted, or worse, will clot intermittantly.

    I am not saying you are incorrect by stating the EPA is being a little more scarier in their language, but do understand they are trying to change behaviour and that often can’t be done without extreme measures. I don’t believe that you wish anyone ill, but I do wish you would realise that having a knee-jerk reaction to the opposite because you disavow the office does not make your “science” any more non-junk than what you purport is junk science. I don’t think that serves a positive purpose.


  10. I don’t smoke or “Vape”. But, this sounds like the typical EPA Fake News.

    What a crock. The new EPA director needs to clean out this garbage dump

  11. My thoughts entirely. I take 100mg a day but also vape. So according to this report I can stop taking my aspirin then.

  12. Both e-Cig and tobacco smoke exposure for 30 days

    “significantly impaired circulating levels of an enzyme required for clotting”

    — potentially increasing the risk for stroke and worsened secondary brain injury.
    Why do people with cardiovascular problems take aspirin 100mg daily to AVOID the possibility of clotting….
    These ‘scientists’ must be from the other side of the looking glass……………………..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.