Vaping may boost teens’ risk of heart, lung disease over lifetime, group warns

Vaping may increase teens' risk of heart and lung disease throughout their lives, group warns

The American Heart Association warns that the popular pastime of vaping can increase the risk of heart and lung disease over the course of a lifetime. Photo by StockSnap/Pixabay

WASHINGTON, June 21 (UPI) — The American Heart Association has issued a new warning to adolescents who use e-cigarettes: The popular pastime of vaping may increase the risk of heart and lung disease over the course of a lifetime.

The latest available scientific evidence suggests that the adverse cardiopulmonary effects of e-cigarette use may increase over time, the organization said in a scientific statement published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Circulation: Research.

“As a heart doctor, I believe it’s so important to find ways to stop kids from starting to vape and to support kids who need help quitting,” said Dr. Naomi Hamburg, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute at Boston Medical Center. She is co-author of the statement.

“I’m studying the health effects of vaping in adolescents and young adults,” Hamburg told UPI. “We are seeing more and more adolescents who started vaping in high school or earlier and who have never used cigarettes. Adolescents often use the suggestion on a daily basis that they are addicted to nicotine. Many want to quit, but find it challenging to quit with vaping.”

Among its recommendations, the Heart Association pushed for the removal of flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol flavor, from the market.

It also called for more education to young people and their parents about the potential health risks of the product, getting vaping curricula in medical school training, providing cessation programs for adolescents and adults in hospital, and regulating drug use. marketing the product on social media platforms.

“I’m aware of local advocacy campaigns that stem from parental concerns about teen vaping across the Bay Area,” Dr. Joseph C. Wu, a cardiologist who is director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, at UPI. He is a co-author of the group’s statement.

“Parents saw nearby smoke shops selling flavored tobacco products to underage teens and children, said Wu, a professor of medicine and radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

“Some cities, including San Jose and Los Angeles, have banned the sale of flavored tobacco in their cities.”

He added: “Pediatricians are also seeing more children in clinics due to e-cigarette and vaping injuries. Due to the much higher nicotine concentration of the new formulations in e-cigarettes such as Juuls, children are not aware that they can become addicted quickly. touching nicotine.”

E-cigarettes are the most common form of electronic nicotine delivery system. Their market introduction in the early 2000s reversed years of lower tobacco use, and their use has increased significantly, especially among adolescents, according to the Heart Association.

The latest national youth tobacco survey, published in March, found that about 34% of high school students and 11.3% of high school students reported having ever used a tobacco product by 2021. E-cigarettes were the most common product – used by 11.3% of high school students and 2.8% of high school students.

The Heart Association, which previously released a statement on adult e-cigarette use, said in its new statement that while most new e-cigarette users have never smoked combustible cigarettes, adolescents who are now starting to vape will receive lifelong nicotine or become tobacco. users.

The group explained that a scientific statement represents an expert analysis of current research that could influence physicians’ clinical practice guidelines in the future.

In this case, the group said in a press release that “experts in basic science, cellular and vascular biology, toxicology, pharmacology and epidemiology reviewed evidence-based studies focusing on the cardiopulmonary effects of e-cigarette use in adolescents” to identify short- and long-term risks and provide guidelines for reducing vaping.

Loren E. Wold, who led the writing group for the scientific statement, explained in a press release that most studies of e-cigarette use have focused on adults or animals.

“It’s critical that we also understand how organ systems are affected in younger people who use e-cigarettes, and in particular how these effects can persist into adulthood,” said Wold, a professor and associate dean for research activities and compliance at Ohio State. University’s College of Medicine.

The Heart Association said the toxicity of e-cigarettes is still poorly understood, in part because most manufacturers have not made the full list of ingredients of their products public. And this makes it more difficult to predict adverse effects on the heart and lungs.

However, the group said e-liquids are known to contain nicotine, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, along with vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, which are on the Food and Drug Administration’s “generally considered safe” list.

But these compounds are not meant to be inhaled and have not been tested this way; and when heated, they often break down into other chemicals, such as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Wold said a person’s lung development continues into their early 20s, “so adolescents who vape are at risk of stunting or altering their lung development and may not achieve full lung function.”

The heart association also cited studies that found that “young adults who use e-cigarettes experience arterial stiffness, decreased blood vessel function, and increased blood pressure and heart rate.”

This evidence “suggests that acute cardiovascular effects of e-cigarettes may increase over time with long-term use, leading to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people who use e-cigarettes over the long term,” the statement said. group.

Aside from cardiopulmonary effects, “e-cigarette use impairs sleep quality, potentially affects mental health and leads to addiction by activating certain brain pathways,” the group added.

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