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Greek CommunitySigns Vaping May Be Causing You Long Term Damage

Signs Vaping May Be Causing You Long Term Damage

Hellenic News of America
Hellenic News of Americahttps://www.hellenicnews.com
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Clinical Contributors to this story:
Kostantinos Poulikidis, M.D.

Because e-cigarettes don’t produce smoke like cigarettes do, some people think they’re safe. But using e-cigarettes (vaping) has been shown to also damage the lungs.

E-cigarettes have only been available in the U.S. since 2007. Because of this, we don’t know their long-term health effects yet.

Cigarette smoking has been linked with lung cancer. Vaping is too new to be linked to cancer, but experts say there’s a potential risk.

Teens have preferred vaping to cigarettes since 2014, according to recent data. They may not expect problems, but lung damage may be in their future.

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“Peers may tell teens that e-cigarettes are harmless, compared to cigarettes,” says thoracic surgeon Kostantinos Poulikidis, M.D., with the JFK Advanced Lung and Airway Center. “But vaping still involves inhaling nicotine and other chemicals that can damage the lungs.”

Symptoms of Vaping-Related Lung Damage
In 2019, researchers first identified EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury). This condition refers to vaping-related lung injury, including serious illness and death.

Thousands of people have experienced lung damage due to EVALI, and dozens have died. Many who were diagnosed with the condition were teens; half were under 25.

People who vape who develop EVALI may develop symptoms like:

Shortness of breath
Coughing
Chest pain
Fever
Chills
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea
Abdominal pain
Headache
Dizziness
Rapid heart rate
Shallow breathing
Other complications have been linked to vaping, including “popcorn lung” and collapsed lung.

“Popcorn lung,” or bronchiolitis obliterans, is another condition that has been linked to vaping. It damages small airways within the lungs, making it hard to breathe.

Before vaping existed, workers at popcorn factories were exposed to diacetyl, a flavoring chemical. The same chemical that seasoned popcorn is also in some e-cigarettes.

People who vape who develop “popcorn lung” may develop symptoms like:

Shortness of breath
Coughing
Wheezing
Chest pain
Vaping may also cause a type of pneumonia, when e-cigarette chemicals are inhaled. Inhaling the fatty acids present in some e-cigarettes may lead to lipoid pneumonia.

People who vape who develop lipoid pneumonia may develop symptoms like:

Shortness of breath
A chronic cough
Coughing up bloody mucus
Coughing up blood
Some people who vape may develop a collapsed lung, or primary spontaneous pneumothorax. In susceptible people, vaping may advance asymptomatic blisters in the lung into holes.

People who vape who develop a collapsed lung may develop symptoms like:

Shortness of breath
A sharp pain in the chest
Uncomfortable shoulder pain

Recent research found that vaping may cause scarring of lung tissue, or constrictive bronchiolitis. Inhaling chemicals found in e-cigarettes may damage the lung’s small airways.

People who vape who develop constrictive bronchiolitis may develop symptoms like:

Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Asthma-like symptoms

How to Minimize Vaping-Related Lung Damage
The best way to prevent vaping-related lung damage is by avoiding vaping.

If you don’t smoke or vape, don’t start. Vaping is not a safe alternative to cigarettes.

If you already vape and would like to quit, there are several options available:

Seek help from your doctor. They may recommend prescription medication to make it easier to quit.
Nicotine-replacement therapy may help reduce nicotine cravings. Some products are available over-the-counter.
See a therapist who helps people quit smoking and vaping. Therapy improves your chances of quitting, especially when combined with medication.
Some people try to quit cold turkey. It may be effective for some, but medication plus counseling is often better.
If you’re able to quit vaping, you may help to improve your lung health. Researchers don’t have long-term data about vaping, but some research is promising.

“Vaping is too new to know how well the lungs will recover from damage,” Dr. Poulikidis says. “However, quitting e-cigarettes is the best way to prevent any additional damage.”

Next Steps & Resources:
To make an appointment with Dr. Poulikidis, or a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
Learn more about thoracic surgery at Hackensack Meridian Health.

SOURCE; https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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