Teen Vaping Epidemic Raises Alarms as a Public Health Crisis

News Desk1 month ago

A 2019 poll found that vaping among preteens and teenagers has reached a crisis stage, endangering years of public health initiatives that had reduced nicotine use.

Parents ought to be worried because:

  • Teens who vape are more likely to become addicted to nicotine.
  • Children and teenagers who vape are exposed to hazardous chemicals and dangerous metals present in e-cigarettes.
  • E-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung damage (EVALI) is an enigmatic vaping-related ailment that is becoming more prevalent.

We spoke with Brian Jenssen, MD, MSHP, a primary care pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and a researcher at CHOP’s PolicyLab who has influenced tobacco policy with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to get an update on the most recent data and the risks related to vaping and e-cigarettes.

In summary, there are a lot of false beliefs out there, and the problem’s breadth has expanded. Here, we debunk several widespread fallacies regarding vaping and present the most recent evidence.

According to the 2019 poll, more and more middle school and high school students are vaping. Families must be made aware of the dangers of vaping, since more than one in four high school students and one in ten middle school students report using vaping devices.

In the US, tobacco smoking is the biggest cause of illness and mortality, despite being completely avoidable. The risk of developing a nicotine addiction via vaping is similar to that of smoking.

According to extremely convincing research, kids who experiment with vaping are far more likely to eventually start smoking traditional cigarettes, according to Jenssen.

Addiction is more common among kids and teens under the age of eighteen. According to Dr. Jenssen, “nicotine can alter the body’s biochemical pathways, making it harder to pay attention and predisposing the brain for addiction.”

By identifying some of the compounds present in sweeteners, flavorings, and vape solvents and understanding how they alter when burned into an aerosol, we have gained further knowledge on the risks associated with vaping. Additionally, we now know that kids who vape contain nicotine, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their systems.

According to Dr. Jenssen, “we are seeing the direct health harms from e-cigarette use, and prevention is the most effective tool.”

Among these immediate health risks is a sharp increase in EVALIs, or acute lung injuries linked to vaping. The usage of e-cigarettes is the common denominator, albeit it is unknown what is causing the disease. As of January 14, 2020, the CDC had received reports of over 2,660 hospitalizations or fatalities due to EVALI in the United States. During the same period, sixty EVALI-related fatalities were confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia. According to Dr. Jenssen, “these are lung injuries that look like the person worked in a chemical plant for years.”
Similar to how smoking was marketed decades ago, vaping is pushed with alluring commercials and few details regarding the serious health hazards. Even riskier: vaping goods are marketed at youth; they have gadgets that are geared toward tech-savvy teenagers and scents like cotton candy and sour gummy worms.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) threatened JUUL Labs Inc. with a warning letter in the autumn of 2019 for making false claims and marketing to children of school age. The New York Attorney General’s Office is among the lawsuits the corporation is facing for its fraudulent marketing tactics.

Read more: Inquiry into Viral Video of University Students Doing Drugs

The federal government has intervened to provide direction, despite the fact that a number of states and towns have either outlawed or are contemplating banning vaping items. A nationwide legislation prohibiting the sale of tobacco products, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes, to those under the age of 21 was approved in December 2019.

Although this new law is a success for public health, other recent federal initiatives fall short. We are aware that tastes have encouraged teen usage. Because of this, the current regulation, which simply removes a few flavors of e-cigarettes from sale, does not sufficiently safeguard young people. Teens will continue to be drawn to vaping if menthol-flavored pod devices are permitted in conventional retail settings and if refillable tank-based products offered at vape shops are available in all flavors.

 

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