By: Mission Healthy Living
September 23, 2019
With local schools back in session and a new college semester underway, the question of vaping and the outbreak of lung disease associated with it is at the forefront of many minds.
Often sold as a healthy alternative to smoking, vapes, or e-cigarettes, have become common nationwide, especially among high school students. A recent study found that 37 percent of high school seniors used e-cigarettes in the past year—up from 28 percent the previous year.
This week, an editorial in the Pottstown Mercury News demonstrated the local impact of e-cigarettes on area youth and pointed to some tragic consequences experienced by local families.
Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive drug that has been shown to impair brain development and impact the mental health of young people.
And e-cigarettes often contain such high doses of nicotine that second-hand exposure can have a significant health impact. However, it’s not just nicotine that poses a risk. E-cigarettes can also contain:
- heavy metals
- volatile organic compounds
- cancer causing chemicals
- cannabinoid oils: CBD and THC
Those compounds may contribute to current outbreak of lung disease that has left eight dead and over 500 injured across the nation. In Pennsylvania alone, there have been 17 confirmed cases of severe lung disease with another 30 cases currently being investigated.
While vaping is still generally viewed as less dangerous than smoking, public health officials urged those using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool to switch to an FDA approved method, such as chewing nicotine gum or using a nicotine inhaler.
To learn what you can do you to keep yourself and your family safe, visit the CDC webpage on e-cigarettes.
*Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.