Many tout vaping as a healthy alternative to cigarette smoking, but health experts are now saying, “Not so fast.” In fact, the head of the FDA is calling teen vaping “an epidemic”.
Dr. Pushan Jani, pulmonologist with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and UTHealth, says “A lot of times you are still getting nicotine with these e-cigs and these e-cigs also contain the same cancer-causing compounds as regular cigarettes.”
Both e-cig and regular cigarette smoke contain certain chemical compounds like VOCs, PAHs, and TSNAs. All are known carcinogens.
Most e-cigs contain nicotine. One of the most popular brands is Juul. One pod has about the same number of puffs and same amount of nicotine as pack of 20 regular cigarettes.
Nicotine is highly addictive. Vaping can lead to smoking.
Dr Jani says, “There have been studies ranging anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of kids who end up converting themselves (from vaping) to regular cigarette smoking.”
Developing adolescent brains are particularly vulnerable to nicotine. Dr. Jani explains, “The nicotine you inhale is also present in your brain cells. It also works on the ending of your nerves. There is a potential that it prevents those nerve endings from communicating or synapsing with other brain cells.”
Studies suggest marked reduction in memory, attention and verbal skills in vapers who start young.
Want to know if your kid is vaping? Check for signs of irritability or anger on weekends, when parents are around and vaping is likely prohibited. There is an at home, do it yourself test.
Dr. Jani says, “Nic Alert can test your kids saliva and tell you if your kids is using one of these products.”
Dr. Jani adds, the only thing you should be smoking – is air.
For more information visit the National Academics of Sciences Engineering Medicine's website and sciencedirect.com.