CDC Questions Health Effects of Vaping

By Destiny Quinn
Delta Digital News Service

Jonesboro, Ark,  – The phenomenon some people refer to as vaping leaves a lot of questions to be answered.

Vaping is terminology that has resulted from the use of an electronic cigarette, which vaporizes a liquid that can be flavored. These e-cigarettes typically consist of nicotine, propylene, glycol and glycerine in the form of a liquid.

Some tobacco users say “dual use” to illustrate how they feel about the e-cigarettes. They say they believe vaping provides the key to weaning themselves off the nicotine and the addiction. Questions remain if it’s the safest way to end the addiction. Decades of research indicates just how harmful tobacco usage is on the lungs.

“Just cutting back on cigarettes may not protect you from an early death. Heavy smokers who reduce their cigarette use by half still have a very high risk for early death,” notes the Centers for Disease Control.

NEA Baptist Clinic Dr. Doug Maglothlin explained his viewpoints on the fad.

“I don’t think anyone really knows just yet what the long-term effects are going to be of vaping,” Maglothlin said. He explained he didn’t have a lot of prior knowledge on the subject matter because vaping is still so new to doctors.

The Food and Drug Administration has not regulated the ingredients in e-cigarettes or e-cigarettes in general.

“So there’s no way to know for sure what is in them, or how much nicotine they contain,” states the CDC.

Maglothlin said there could be similarities between this new smoking alternative and what was known as popcorn lung.

“It’s interesting; if you read about vaping, you always come back to a thing called ‘popcorn lung,'” he said.

Maglothlin referenced an incident involving chemicals and microwave popcorn that left people with damaged airways and a COPD side effect.

“Years ago, in the factories that were making microwave popcorn, they had this chemical in there that had a buttery creamy kind of smell and taste, and they used a lot of that,” he said. Maglothlin noted the smell employees were inhaling actually was the chemical diacetyl. Diacetyl can be found in some e-cigarettes and vape shops.

With the growing number of e-cigarette users, especially used by young adults ages 18-25, it is important for potential risks to be known.

“Reasons reported by young people for using e-cigarettes include curiosity, taste and the belief that e-cigarettes are less harmful than other tobacco products,” states the CDC.

Maglothlin said he believes the best way to combat the usage is to not discourage users.

“I don’t discourage them, if they think that’s a way they can get off (smoking), then I don’t discourage them — but certainly, I would not encourage anyone to start vaping,” he said.

E-cigarette companies reported over $2.5 billion in business in the United States in 2014. Since 2004, e-cigarette use has grown exponentially. Even children are getting in on the act. And that usage gives further credence to the argument that more needs to be known about e-cigarettes and their potentially harmful effects.

(Editor’s Note: Vaping picture by Lindsay Fox [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

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