Doctors say there are numerous health risks associated with vaping. U.S. health officials identified 450 possible cases of a serious breathing illness. They say at least 6 deaths are directly linked to e-cigarettes.
Newschannel 6’s Ashley Osborne talked to the Medical College of Georgia’s Dr. Martha Tingen, a behavioral nurse scientist who specializes in the prevention of tobacco use in kids.
“The CDC made a landmark statement… They said, all of our efforts to get children and adolescents and young adults to move away from nicotine they used a very powerful word, they said they’ve been ‘erased,'” Tingen reiterates.
Dr. Tingen explains the the health risks related to e-cigarette use that are impossible to ignore. She starts with the lunges.
“Some students are having a major experience immediately after they smoke, that they are having shallow breathing and they can’t get their breath. When they are admitted into the hospital and go to the emergency room, they are seeing that they actually have some lunge damage and they are setting themselves up for future major more intensive lunge disease problems,” Dr. Tingen explains.
Dr. Tinen points out that vaping immediately sends a really good feeling signal to the brain, which makes you want to take another hit just like a traditional cigarette.
“In youth, [this signal] is very very addictive,” Dr. Tingen says.
As for the heart, Dr. Tingen says vaping causes a narrowing of vessels which increases blood pressure. E-cigarette use also harms your endothelium.
“When you get up to walk up the steps, your heart might speed up a little bit to give you a little boost of energy. That’s a good thing,” Dr. Tingen describes. “If you’re sitting and resting and going to sleep, it traditionally slows down a little bit. When you affect your endothelium, it then loses its sensing ability. That is a very very very serious thing.”
Vaping also a negatively impacts behavior and immune health.
“It can make some people feel very very nervous and and feel very agitated and also very irritable,” Dr. Tingen points out. “We now know vaping is harming our immune system so a traditional exposure to a big sneeze or a big cough that normally we would never catch something from, you may now be at risk of that.”
The sixth category of concern is poison control.
“There is stuff like formaldehyde,” says Dr. Tingen. “I mean there are all kinds of harmful things in addition to the nicotine.”
The Georgia Cancer center has a cessation program to help you quit tobacco use. You can reach them at (706) 721- 0456.