Vaping nicotine in e-cigarettes could make people’s bones weaker, experts say


Vaping ‘leads to fractures in minor falls’: Nicotine in e-cigarettes could make people’s bones weaker, experts say

  • Vaping could increase the risk of broken bones from minor falls, a study suggests
  • Nicotine, included in e-cigarettes, is suspected by some experts to make people’s bones weaker
  • This higher rate of ‘fragility fractures’ was compared to those who had never vaped










Vaping could increase the risk of broken bones from minor falls, a study suggests.

Nicotine, included in e-cigarettes, is suspected by some experts to make people’s bones weaker.

Researchers looked at 5,569 people, aged 20 to 80, who were asked about their use of e-cigarettes and if they had ever suffered a hip, wrist or spinal fracture from minor trauma, such as a fall from standing height.

They found that those who used e-cigarettes, or had in the past, were 46 per cent more likely to have suffered a broken bone from a minor incident, suggesting their bones were more fragile.

Vaping could increase the risk of broken bones from minor falls, a study suggests (File image)

Vaping could increase the risk of broken bones from minor falls, a study suggests (File image)

This higher rate of ‘fragility fractures’ was compared to those who had never vaped.

Though some people’s broken bones may have happened before they started vaping, the research adds to the evidence that e-cigarettes can harm health, with the devices linked to an increased risk of both lung disorders and cardiovascular disease.

Despite a torrent of research on the potential dangers of vaping, England could be set to become the first country in the world to prescribe e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, after the medical regulator last month published updated guidance ‘paving the way’ for e-cigarette prescriptions from doctors. 

Dr Dayawa Agoons, who led the new study on vaping and broken bones from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said: ‘In my outpatient clinic, I saw a patient after surgery to repair a thigh bone fracture.

‘She was a smoker and used e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking, and I realised we didn’t know much about how vaping may affect bones. 

Those who used e-cigarettes, or had in the past, were 46 per cent more likely to have suffered a broken bone from a minor incident, suggesting their bones were more fragile (File image)

Those who used e-cigarettes, or had in the past, were 46 per cent more likely to have suffered a broken bone from a minor incident, suggesting their bones were more fragile (File image)

The evidence that it could increase the risk of fragility fractures is important, when e-cigarettes are so often recommended to people to help them give up smoking.’

The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine Open, looked at 1,050 people who had used e-cigarettes, comparing them to 4,519 people who had never vaped.

Among this group, taken from a US national health survey, 444 people had reported fragility fractures from a minor injury such as a fall from head height.

Laboratory studies suggest that nicotine, and the flavoured liquids used in e-cigarettes, may be toxic to the cells which form bones in the body, although more research is needed.

The 46 per cent higher rate of fragility fractures in people who vaped was the case even when whether they smoked cigarettes was taken into account (File image)

The 46 per cent higher rate of fragility fractures in people who vaped was the case even when whether they smoked cigarettes was taken into account (File image) 

The 46 per cent higher rate of fragility fractures in people who vaped was the case even when whether they smoked cigarettes was taken into account.

Smoking conventional cigarettes is also known to be linked to bone weakness and fractures. 

Therefore, researchers looked at smokers, finding they had a 63 per cent higher rate of broken bones from minor trauma compared to people who had never smoked or vaped.

Those who both smoked and vaped had more than double the rate of fragility fractures compared to those who had never smoked or vaped.

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Written by bourbiza

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