Young people who vape face an elevated risk of respiratory issues, including bronchitis and shortness of breath, within 30 days of starting, according to recent research.
This study comes from The Ohio State University and the Southern California Keck School of Medicine. They have used four years of online survey data, examining how e-cigarettes might be affecting the lungs of teens.
In recent years, e-cigarettes have become a big deal, especially among teens. Even with efforts to make them less appealing, their sales shot up during the first two years of the Covid era. Why? Those flavored disposable e-cigarettes are a major draw for youngsters.
In the study, over 2,000 young participants, averaging 17 years old, answered questions about their habits – vaping, smoking, and using cannabis. Asthma among the participants was also considered.
The researchers discovered that teenagers who vaped within the last month had a significantly higher chance of experiencing wheezing compared to their peers who do not vape. This was found to be true even after accounting for factors such as age, gender, race, and parent’s education levels. Moreover, those who had vaped recently were more likely to feel out of breath by 78% and show symptoms of bronchitis by 50%.
It’s important to note that wheezing, bronchitis, and breathlessness can be a concern for people who vape. Even if they don’t smoke regular cigarettes or use cannabis. This means that everyone, not just those with existing health issues, should be cautious when vaping.
The researchers did point out a limitation: trusting self-reported surveys isn’t perfect. They’re hopeful that future research will use more precise methods. The goal? Crafting regulations that shield our youth, while also guiding adults towards safer alternatives.
Many health experts support these findings. Dr. Alayna Tackett, a pediatric psychologist, reminds us that no form of smoking, including vaping, is without risks. Stronger regulations around vaping, especially for the young, are a must.