In recent years, we’ve seen an exponential rise in the prevalence of vaping and e-cigarettes. While presented as a “healthy” alternative to smoking cigarettes, recent developments have revealed that these products have plenty of their own health risks to be aware of. This is especially concerning considering the fact that a large percentage of the people who use these products are teenagers. In fact, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, 1 in every 5 American high school students claimed to have used some form of electronic smoking device within the past month.
Although vaping products do not contain many of the dangerous chemicals that cigarettes do, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own potentially hazardous ingredients. In many cases, this includes nicotine. Nicotine is harmful and addictive for anyone, but it is especially dangerous for developing brains that are more susceptible to addiction and other effects. In addition to nicotine, these products may contain chemicals like diacetyl (linked to lung disease), volatile organic compounds, and even particles of metals including tin and lead.
In addition to potential addiction, vaping can also lead to other serious health risks or even death. Nicotine increases a person’s heart rate, which can lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack. Health experts at Johns Hopkins indicate that vaping has been linked to chronic lung disease and asthma. As of this month, over 2,700 people have been hospitalized or died from lung issues associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vape products according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
To help raise awareness about the potential risks of vaping and what parents can do to help prevent their children from going down this path, we wanted to alert our readers about a town hall meeting this Friday (February 7th, 2020) being hosted by Vaping Today at North Atlanta High School. This event, sponsored by the Medical Association of Atlanta, will feature speakers from around the country discussing the dangers of vaping for children and teens, providing their own personal experiences with these products, and offering helpful advice for how parents can combat this growing health phenomenon. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of adolescent medicine at Stanford University and the founder and executive director of the Tobacco Awareness Toolkit.
The purpose of this event and this blog is not to frighten parents, but to help spread awareness of the potential dangers these products can cause. We firmly believe that avoiding nicotine in any form and other hazardous materials found in electronic smoking devices can help contribute to good long-term health and wellness. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers, please contact Family Practice Center today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, photos, and more.