What is vaping?
The latest public health crisis. That’s how medical experts are referring to the health problems resulting from vaping. Hundreds of people have become seriously ill after using the electronic devices. Some people have died. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.
Vaping is the inhalation of an aerosol from an electric cigarette or similar device, which is used to heat the vapour-producing liquid. There are many brands of electronic cigarettes and they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many are pen-like (hence the term vape pen) or they may also resemble a USB flash drive. The vapour usually delivers nicotine but it can also deliver other legal or illegal substances, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. In addition, the liquid can contain fine particles, oils, toxic chemicals, or other ingredients, some that have been linked to cancer, lung problems and possibly heart disease.
How common is vaping?
E-cigarettes were introduced in 2006 and have increased in popularity since then, especially among young people. In Australia, among 18-24-year olds, current use has gone up from 2.8 per cent to 5.3 per cent in the last three years. A 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported a rise across all age groups of people who had ever used e-cigarettes from 8.8 percent in 2016 to 11.3 per cent in 2019. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging consumers to refrain from using vaping products for the following reasons.
You can get very sick
More than 1000 cases of vaping-related lung injuries, from the US territory, have been reported to the CDC. The symptoms of the lung disease resulting from vaping include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue and stomach pain. Nearly 70 per cent of cases are in males. Nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of people who have gotten sick are between the ages of 18 and 34, and 16 per cent are under 18. Some of the people used vaping devices that delivered nicotine, but most have used THC-containing products.