Vaping continues to pose an irreversible danger to society with new-age gateway products using innovative marketing strategies to lure children and youth. In today’s era of information overload and misinformation, it is crucial for citizens to have access to credible and accurate information so that they do not become victims of activities promoted by vested interests.
Mothers Against Vaping, a united front of mothers concerned about the growing vaping crisis among our youth, has highlighted the top 10 health risks associated with vaping as it seeks to raise awareness of vaping and its various health risks, from overuse of vaping and nicotine to serious lung injury. in children
The first risk it highlights is that new-age tobacco devices, unlike regular cigarettes, can result in excessive nicotine intake and that these devices enable more prolonged use sessions.
Second, there is a common misconception that the vapors emitted from new-age tobacco devices are harmless, but in fact, these emissions contain a range of harmful substances, including nicotine, diacetyl, which is associated with serious lung injury. Aerosols produced by e-cigarettes contain particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) which are notorious for their harmful effects on respiratory health.
The 2019 e-cigarette or vaping product use-related lung injury (EVALI) outbreak in the United States serves as a stark reminder that countless Americans, mainly teenagers and young adults, are hospitalized, resulting in permanent lung damage and many for lung dysfunction. alive
Third, the dangers of new-age gateway devices go beyond just respiratory health issues. E-cigarettes, in particular, damage blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease. They are also associated with negative effects on the immune system and reproductive organs.
Fourth, these devices contribute to environmental problems and consequently harm people. Components of new-age tobacco devices include metal and ceramic, including a cartridge, an atomizer, and a battery.
Improper disposal of these materials contributes to e-waste, causing environmental hazards. For example, e-cigarette batteries can cause environmental pollution with heavy metals, leaching into soil and contaminating groundwater, rivers and lakes. This pollution not only damages the environment but also poses a risk to human health, with children being more vulnerable than adults.
A fifth health risk relates to mental well-being. Peer-reviewed studies have revealed troubling links between vaping, nicotine and increased symptoms of depression and anxiety. The results indicate that individuals are more likely to develop depression due to their vaping habit.
Sixth, the chemicals in these products pose a significant risk to oral health, leading to problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections. A February 2022 study from the NYU College of Dentistry found that e-cigarettes alter the microbiome, which contributes to gum disease. The microbiome, a diverse community of bacteria and microorganisms in the gums, can be adversely affected by e-cigarette use, causing acute or oral health problems.
Seventh, using these new-age tobacco products during pregnancy poses serious risks to fetal health, significantly increasing the likelihood of adverse outcomes such as premature birth, low birth weight, and neonatal developmental complications.
Eighth, the health hazard is that alternative tobacco products can act as a gateway to more serious addictions such as cocaine and heroin. Early exposure and addiction to nicotine through these alternatives can pave the way for individuals, especially young users, to experiment with powerfully addictive substances, significantly affecting their overall health and well-being.
Ninth, nicotine exposure from new-age devices can have lasting effects on cognition, attention, and emotion regulation during critical adolescent brain development. This not only disrupts the learning environment but also disrupts the cognitive development of students who engage in this harmful behavior.
Last but not least, an important health risk posed by these new-age gateway devices is their susceptibility to malfunction or explosion, leading to serious risks for users such as burns, facial trauma and, sadly, even death.
E-cigarette batteries can explode without warning through a process called “thermal runaway,” when the battery overheats, causing a dangerous rise in internal temperature that can cause fires and explosions. Conditions such as overcharge, puncture, external heat and short circuit can trigger thermal runaway.
Manufacturers of these devices target children and youth to create lifelong customers. Alarmingly, children aged 13-15 are using e-cigarettes more than adults in all WHO regions. To combat this problem, it is essential to actively disseminate accurate information about the real risks associated with these products, dispel any misconceptions and ensure the safety of our children and young people.