Young teens at risk of respiratory problems just within 30 days of smoking e-cigarettes, study suggests

Smoking e-cigarettes increases respiratory risk among teens within 30 days. (Image via Unsplash/ Formm Agency)
Smoking e-cigarettes increases respiratory risk among teens within 30 days. (Image via Unsplash/ Formm Agency)

Researchers from Ohio State University have recently expressed grave alarm over the increase in teen smoking e-cigarettes and the risk of developing respiratory diseases.

E-cigarettes were once hailed as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, but accumulating evidence of their harmful health impacts has caused them to come under close scrutiny.

The study published in Thorax Journal collated four years of data from online surveys. They found that young teens may be in danger of developing respiratory issues such as asthma, bronchitis, or shortness of breath within just 30 days of using e-cig.


What are the key findings of the study?

A new study highlights the potential health risks of smoking e-cig. (Image via Unsplash/ Yoann Boyer)
A new study highlights the potential health risks of smoking e-cig. (Image via Unsplash/ Yoann Boyer)

In 2014, researchers polled 2,097 adolescents with a mean age of 17.3 from the Southern California Children's Health Study about their use of e-cig, traditional tobacco, and marijuana, as well as any health issues they had. In 2015, 2017, and 2018, there were three rounds of surveys already done. By round 4, more than 15% of respondents reported using e-cig.

23% of the teenagers polled during the initial round reported having asthma. Each wave had a high prevalence of bronchitis symptoms, ranging from 19.5% to 26% of research participants, depending on the survey.

A sub-analysis that excluded people with a history of asthma found that there was still a connection between using e-cig and having respiratory symptoms. This suggests that the study's findings about the harmful health impacts of e-cigarette usage were true for all participants, not just those with asthma.


Has e-cigarette usage increased?

E-cig usage is increasing among teens. (Image via Unsplash/ Designecologist)
E-cig usage is increasing among teens. (Image via Unsplash/ Designecologist)

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarette use is currently significantly more prevalent among teenagers and young adults in the United States than it is among all adults. During the first two years of the Covid epidemic, sales of e-cig increased by about 50%, primarily due to the disposable devices' long-standing teen appeal in sweet and fruity flavors.

Despite a federal crackdown that increased limitations on tobacco product marketing and flavors, sales of tobacco goods increased.


Health risks of smoking e-cigarettes

Any kind of smoking is bad for health. (Image via Unsplash/ Mahdi Bafande)
Any kind of smoking is bad for health. (Image via Unsplash/ Mahdi Bafande)

The increasing use of e-cigarettes, which were once promoted as a healthier alternative to conventional smoking, has led to a new wave of health issues. As vaping becomes more popular, it becomes more important to educate people about the potential health dangers linked to these electronic nicotine delivery systems.

1) Respiratory issues

The effects on respiratory health are one of the most urgent health dangers linked to using e-cigs. According to studies, the mist that e-cigs emit contains dangerous chemicals that can irritate the lungs and cause inflammation.

Coughing, wheezing, and even more serious illnesses like bronchitis and asthma aggravation may be experienced by users. Recent studies have shown that using e-cigarettes for as little as 30 days might cause respiratory difficulties in even young teens.

2) Nicotine addiction

Despite being advertised as a way to stop smoking, e-cigarettes frequently contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug. A new generation of users who might not have been exposed to nicotine before may get addicted as a result of nicotine delivery through vaping.

3) Cardiovascular issues

Vaping has been linked to poor cardiovascular health outcomes. Aerosolized e-cigarette chemicals have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease by narrowing blood arteries. Long-term use may increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.


This study should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers, educators, and parents alike. The results highlight how urgent it is to combat the teenage e-cigarette epidemic. It's important to realize that these devices are not harmless.

Edited by Divya Singh
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