×

Talk with the Doc

Vaping, e-cigarettes are very dangerous

Dr. Jim Surrell

Vaping and e-cigarettes were originally marketed as a healthy alternative to tobacco smoking. Vaping devices are also referred to electronic cigarettes, or E-cigarettes.

They are also referred to as ECIGs. With all the very serious news about the significant medical illnesses and even deaths from the use of vaping and e-cigarettes, let’s take a look at what the current medical research is telling us.

The following information is from my review of significant information on this subject from the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States. E-cigarettes entered the U.S. marketplace around 2007, and since 2014, they have been the most commonly used tobacco product among United States youth.

E-cigarette use among U.S. middle and high school students increased 900% during the years 2011 to 2015, before it finally started to decline for the first time during 2015 to 2017. However, and very unfortunately, current e-cigarette use has increased nearly 80 percent among high school students during the past year. In the year 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. youth, including 1 in 5 high school students, and 1 in 20 middle school students, currently use e-cigarettes.

The Surgeon General’s report also informs us of the following. Many e-cigarettes also come in kid-friendly flavors, to make the e-cigarettes more appealing to young people, and it is known that some of the chemicals used to make certain flavors may also have health risks.

E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver other drugs, including marijuana. This report also tell us that, in 2016, one-third of U.S. middle and high school students who have used e-cigarettes have used marijuana in e-cigarettes.

For adults, e-cigarettes may have the potential to reduce risk for current smokers if they completely transition from cigarettes to e-cigarettes. However, a majority of adults who use e-cigarettes also smoke cigarettes. For youth, the use of multiple tobacco products puts our youth at even greater risk for addiction and tobacco-related medical health problems.

Further, a 2018 National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report concluded that there is evidence that e-cigarette use increases the frequency and intensity of cigarette smoking in the future. We must all understand, and be absolutely certain that our youth understand that e-cigarette use is very unsafe, even if it does not progress to future cigarette smoking.

It is absolutely essential for all of us to be aware of this following information regarding the serious medical illnesses and deaths now linked to vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than 800 cases of lung disease in the U.S. have been linked to vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. While the CDC is continuing their investigation of this very serious lung disease outbreak, they have advised people to avoid using all vaping products, particularly those containing cannabis products.

Tragically, it is also now reported that there have been more than 16 deaths in the U.S. as a result of vaping and e-cigarette use. Based on all this recent health information, we need to be certain that our youth and all citizens know these deadly risks of vaping and the use of e-cigarettes.

Here is my bottom line. If you wish to stay healthy, stop any and all vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. And yes, these are my “Doctor’s Orders.” We must always recall that each and every one of us is the person who is ultimately responsible for our personal health.

And, of course, it is absolutely essential that the youth of our great country are made aware of these very serious and potentially life-threatening health risks of vaping and e-cigarettes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at sosdietdoc@gmail.com.