Just a few puffs can mess with your blood flow.

A study of young people has found just 16 puffs of a nicotine-free e-cigarette can cause a major drop in blood flow to the main artery of the leg, something the authors say mimics the effects of aging.

Electronic cigarettes use a hot metal element to turn an e-liquid, with or without nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled. It’s called vaping, and is seen by some as safer than traditional smoking because no tobacco is burned.

It is also getting popular with teens. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention report 1.5 million more high school students vaping in 2018 compared to the previous year, a 71% surge.

The study’s authors, led by Felix Wehrli from the University of Pennsylvania, US, were spurred by data suggesting non-nicotine elements in the vaping aerosol are more toxic than people might think.

Read the full story in Cosmos magazine here