Vaping may cause a “substantial” increase in the risk of heart failure, new research has suggested.

People who have vaped at any point were 19% more likely to develop heart failure compared with those who never used e-cigarettes, the findings indicate.

Dr Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, the study’s lead author from MedStar Health in Baltimore, US, said: “More and more studies are linking e-cigarettes to harmful effects and finding that it might not be as safe as previously thought.

“The difference we saw was substantial. It’s worth considering the consequences to your health, especially with regard to heart health.”

According to the NHS, heart failure means the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly. It usually happens because the heart has become too weak or stiff.

It is estimated more one million people in the UK have heart failure, according to the British Heart Foundation.

More than 175,000 people in the US – vapers and non-vapers – were included in the study, and of these 3,242 developed heart failure within 45 months.

The study found that people who used e-cigarettes were at increased risk of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction – in which the heart muscle becomes stiff and does not properly fill with blood between contractions.

However, there was no link with reduced ejection fraction, in which the heart muscle becomes weak and the left ventricle does not squeeze as hard as it should during contractions.

Researchers said the new study findings point to a need for additional investigations of the potential impacts of vaping on heart health.

The findings are being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session.

Last month, the UK Government introduced legislation aimed at curbing youth smoking with the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, which aims to tackle youth vaping by introducing new powers to restrict vape flavours and packaging intentionally marketed at children.

Separately, it has committed to ban disposable vapes from April 2025 under environmental laws.