Latest News on Vaping

Vaping, the act of inhaling vapor produced by an electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette) or vaporizer, is very popular among youth. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in November 2018 that vaping had increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since the year before. Teens like using e-cigarettes because they love the flavoring, it’s easy to perform “tricks” with the vapor, and they believe that vaping is a “healthy” form of smoking. Sadly, they are very mistaken. Vaping is beginning to look more damaging than traditional cigarettes.

Here is the latest information about vaping:

Impact on the Lungs

In the past year, there has been a multi-state outbreak of people with a mysterious lung illness that requires hospitalization. Most of these patients are young and require ventilators or even more desperate measures to help them breathe. Investigators are calling the disease “e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury” or EVALI. As of October, 2019, there have been 2,051 cases of vaping associated illnesses, reported in every state, except for Alaska, as of November 5. States have reported at least 40 deaths.

One teen, who just turned 17 while in the hospital with this disease, was given a double lung transplant because the scarring in his lungs was so bad he would not be able to survive. He will face a long and painful recovery. Another 17-year-old in Canada has been hospitalized with a new lung disease from vaping that they are calling “popcorn” lung.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe the national outbreak might be due to Vitamin E acetate, an additive sometimes used in THC and other vaping products. CDC officials are quick to point out that more tests need to be done and that these findings do not rule out other possible ingredients, as there might be more than one cause, especially since new symptoms keep appearing. The CDC recommends that people refrain from using vaping products until a cause of the illness can be determined.

Impact on the Heart

In two separate studies e-cigarette use was shown to impact cholesterol, as well as the body’s ability to pump blood. In one study, researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine compared the cholesterol levels among healthy adults who used e-cigarettes, smoked regular cigarettes, or who did not smoke at all. Those who vaped had higher levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol, on average.

Another study examined a body’s blood flow in nonsmokers, traditional cigarette users, and e-cigarette users. In previous studies, it was found that traditional cigarette smoking reduces blood flow during exercise. But in this most recent study, researchers found that the heart’s ability to pump blood in e-cigarette users was diminished both during exercise and rest.

Black-Market Pods

In addition to the normal vaping cartridges, many teens get black-market pods that contain marijuana. A new study released this month shows that there is a toxic stew of dangerous chemicals — including formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide — in the vapor produced by some illicit THC vaping cartridges. For example, one of the illicit products, Maui Waui, contained 1,500 times the legal limit of pesticides.

How do I prevent my teen from vaping?

These most recent studies show that vaping is not safe, so it’s important to share this latest information with your teen. They should know the health implications of vaping. Parents are the best line of defense in preventing a teen from abusing drugs, so talk to your children. Explain the problems, risks, and let your teen know that you do not want them to try vaping. Research shows that parents are the most important influence in whether a teen decides to abuse substances.

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