Cigarette smoking for those who wear masks for a long period of time increases carbon monoxide exhaled by two-fold compared to non-mask times of smoking. This leads to reduced blood vessel function. A new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a publication of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), came to this conclusion. During the COVID-19 epidemic, the requirement to wear a mask for lengthy periods of time has made smoking any tobacco product significantly more harmful, according to new research.
The research looked at ordinary (combustible) cigarettes as well as “heat not burn” or “heated” tobacco products, which are also known as “heat not burn” or “heated”. Smoking non-combustible cigarettes produces an inhalable nicotine-rich aerosol that is lower in temperature than the smoke produced by traditional cigarettes. Not included in the research were electronic cigarettes, or “vaping,” which heat liquid nicotine to generate an aerosol that may be inhaled.
Smokers who wore a mask while at work were tested for carbon monoxide levels in their exhaled breath and compared to those on time off without wearing a mask. Secondly, the researchers investigated if the decrease in carbon monoxide intake was followed by a reduced blood vessel function.
Nonsmokers who worked at a university hospital were also included in the research; they were all between the ages of 30 and 40 and of the same sexuality and gender. Those who had a history of heart or circulatory problems such as hypertension or diabetes, or dyslipidemia or chronic renal disease or atrial fibrillation were eliminated from the study.
After taking a deep inhale, the researchers evaluated carbon monoxide exhaled and vascular function indicators. Assessments were conducted in the morning after a lengthy time of non-smoking to acquire baseline results. After an 8-hour shift with a mask or 8 hours without a mask, respondents were randomly assigned to a second examination. Following either eight hours without a mask or eight hours of working with a mask, they were sent to a third examination.
Over two-thirds of those who took part were women, with a median age of 45. Throughout mask and non-mask periods, the same number of combustible or non-combustible cigarettes were smoked. Exhaled carbon monoxide levels rose from 8.00 ppm at baseline to 12.15 ppm not wearing a mask and 17.45 ppm wearing a mask in typical cigarette smokers. Carbon monoxide exhaled by non-combustible cigarette smokers rose from 1.15 ppm to 1.43 ppm with a mask and 2.20 ppm with a mask. No difference in exhaled carbon monoxide was found between the baseline, non-mask, and mask periods when it came to non-smoking subjects.
All vascular indicators were elevated in both combustible and non-combustible cigarette smokers who wore a mask compared to those who did not wear a mask. None of the vascular indicators were different among non-smokers in any of the three-time periods.