Vaping Is A High Risk For Young Hearts14 Apr 2023
For decades, the news had been so good. The number of teenagers smoking tobacco products was falling. “Billions of dollars, tons of manpower and effort, were spent on informing young people about the harms of smoking,” said a cardiologist. “And we were successful. Smoking rates across the country went down significantly. Deaths, cancers, and heart attacks attributed to smoking have all gone down. Things were going very, very well.
“And then the vaping started.”
A study this year revealed that 20% of high school students now vape, and the number is exploding. The study reported that during 2020, vaping among high school students increased by 78% – and among middle school students by 48%.
“It is epidemic. A substantial problem for today’s young nation,”
High risk for heart attack, stroke
Manufacturers pushed it as a clean and healthy alternative to smoking tobacco.
Vaporizers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. They include a battery, which powers the heating of a cartridge (also known as a pod) that contains an e-liquid. The user inhales the vapor produced by the heated contents of the pod.
Contents in over-the-counter e-liquids may include:
● Nicotine, which is addictive
● Propylene or ethylene glycol, which are solvents used in antifreeze
● Flavouring agents such as diacetyl, which has been linked to serious lung disease
● Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
Pods sold on the streets or over the internet, or that are simply homemade, could include an unimagined number of other ingredients.The delivery of those substances into your cardiovascular and respiratory systems by vaping is on a different level than by traditional smoking. For example, a portion of the nicotine in a cigarette will burn away while not being smoked, but all the nicotine in a vaping pod gets inhaled.
The high concentration of these substances in the vapor can overwhelm your body’s defence mechanisms. This can activate a hyperinflammatory reaction by your body’s organs and tissue.
“A hyperinflammatory state is not good for the body. Basically, when people have a heart attack, it is due to an inflammatory response. Clots form as part of that response, and those clots cause heart attacks and strokes.”
Compared to non-smokers, people who vape experience a 56% increase in their risk for heart attack and a 30% increase in risk for a stroke.
Distress attacks quickly
Heart and respiratory diseases brought on by cigarette smoking often take decades to manifest. All had a history of using e-cigarettes – or vaping.
One of the most shocking aspects of the vaping cases being treated is the speed at which people are stricken, fall seriously ill and sometimes die. A completely healthy person with no pre-existing conditions goes into respiratory compromise immediately from cigarette smoking.
But that is what is going on with the current vaping-related outbreak in emergency departments across the nation. Researchers are scrambling to determine why. What about vaping is so dangerously different?
Most of the cases have been linked to the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the vapor being inhaled. THC is a chemical compound that produces the high in marijuana.
But not all vaping pods contain THC, and medical personnel have not witnessed similar acute disease outbreaks in users of recreational pot. Clearly, more factors are in play here.
Focus on young people
The dangers to youth are illustrated by the rapid growth in the popularity of vaping among teens. Vaping is perceived as a new and cool thing to do. Juul became the runaway leader in the e-cigarette market largely by chasing the youth demographic through social media.
Advertising campaigns that for decades pushed cigarette smoking as a glamorous and healthy activity. Although it is not doctors in the vaping ads, the industry is pushing the notion that it is a harmless alternative to smoking. Vaping hardware is designed to look like a trendy accessory. The variety of flavoured pods resembles the offerings of an ice cream shop.
“People need to see what happens to your lungs. That tissue does not regenerate. People need to see pictures of heart attacks, see the scar over the entire heart. That is not reversible, and those are usually autopsy pictures.” That is reality. Why sugar-coat it?
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