Morning Rounds: What are the risks of vaping?

Posted at 10:21 AM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 10:25:28-05

Vaping is on the rise among teens and middle schoolers and it has medical experts concerned.

Dr. Ryan Light from TPMG at Greenbrier Family Medicine stopped by News 3 This Morning to break down what we know so far about the risk.

How dangerous is it?

The jury is still out on exactly how dangerous it is to vape. The chemical makeup of vaping liquids varies and is not regulated. This variability is doubly dangerous: the chemicals in the liquid form pose a threat and vapor form another. Research is now being done and early results show that vaping can be just as damaging and dangerous as smoking.

How addictive is it?

Vaping is very addictive even though it is often viewed as not harmful. Electronic nicotine devices contain nicotine just like cigarettes. Vaping carries the same addiction potential as cigarettes and may be even harder to quit, given the fact that vaping is not prohibited in public places.

What are the long-term dangers?

Just like cigarettes whose dangers were not initially known, long-term effects aren't known about vaping. Vaping contains nicotine known to increase risk of stroke and heart attack. The other substances in liquid nicotine are not well studied. Inhalation of one of the flavoring chemicals, diacetyl, is associated with a disease known as 'popcorn lung', which can lead to lifelong lung problems such as COPD (emphysema).

What should parents know?

Parents and teens should be aware that vaping is often falsely marketed as a 'safer' alternative to cigarettes. Vaping or using e-cigarettes is harmful and dangerous.