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Amid continuing concerns about the ongoing teen vaping addiction epidemic in the United States, a prominent cardiology group warns that use of e-cigarettes may increase a teen’s risk of suffering from serious heart problems.
The European Association of Preventative Cardiology (EAPC) published a paper last week which warns teens to avoid e-cigarettes because of the serious risk they pose to their health, and urges regulators to take more steps to protect the nation’s youth. The position paper was published July 30, in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Not only is vaping bad for the heart, but it also doubles the risk a teen will begin using traditional tobacco cigarettes, the organization warns. Other studies have come to similar conclusions, indicating teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes later.
The group issued several recommendations, calling on doctors, regulators and other stakeholders to:
- Regulate advertising of e-cigarettes just as tobacco cigarettes were done to better protect teens.
- Implement age verification procedures to prevent teens from purchasing the products online.
- Educate children in school about the negative effects of e-cigarettes.
- Launch public campaigns to raise awareness of adverse effects and help prevent teens from starting to vape in the first place.
- Implement smoking cessation programs if conventional methods have failed.
- Recommend the public avoid using e-cigarettes during pregnancy.
Using flavored e-cigarettes with candy-like flavors of bubble gum and fruit punch make the products highly appealing to teens, other research has found, indicating teens tend to vape more when non-traditional flavors are used.
Additional research has indicated vaping raises blood pressure and is as bad for blood flow as tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes also affect heart rate, changes the artery walls so they become stiffer and less elastic, and inhibits the function of blood vessels by damaging the lining.
Prior studies have found that e-cigarettes increase the risk of heart problems, including heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, according to other findings.
This is especially concerning because vaping has become the most popular form of tobacco use among teens in the United States. Studies indicate use among teens increased from 5% in 2013 to nearly 25% in 2018 and continues to grow.
The position paper calls on regulators to protect young people by limiting sales and advertising and banning sweet flavors, which many teens may believe are less harmful and find more appealing.
“The rapid evolution of the e-cigarette market has outpaced the legislator’s regulatory capacity, leading to mixed regulations,” wrote study authors. “The increasing use of e-cigarettes in adolescents and young individuals is of concern. While the long-term direct cardiovascular effects of e-cigarettes remain largely unknown, the existing evidence suggests that the e-cigarette should not be regarded as a cardiovascular safe product.”
JUUL Vaping Lawsuits
Previous research has found that Juul e-cigarettes, the leading e-cigarette brand, deliver higher rates of nicotine than most other e-cigarettes, increasing the likelihood of addiction. Another recent study warned that Juul e-cigarettes were designed to have the same chemical and tobacco profile as Marlboro cigarettes, making them equally addictive.
As a result of high levels of nicotine contained in e-cigarettes, there is now an epidemic of vaping and teens addicted to JUUL in the United States, leading to bans on certain flavored products designed to appeal to minors.
A growing number of vaping injury lawsuits continue to be filed against JUUL and the makers of other e-cigarettes, not only involving problems with severe lung damage, but also alleging that the products resulted in life-long nicotine addictions and other injuries.