You probably know someone or know a loved one who has used the e-cigarette. But becoming addicted to vaping can happen at any age and many people who tried the product say they reported negative impacts including severe headache breathlessness nausea and addiction. Now a new study from UC San Francisco suggests that vaping among university students might increase the risk of severe depression by 60 percent.
The results of the study published in the current online edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health also indicate that vaping might increase heart hospital visits among that same group of people who often experience heart arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats that can lead to heart failure stroke heart attack or acute leg injury.
We have seen a gradual decline in the use of e-cigarettes among people under age 20 years said study leader Stephanie Buisman PhD professor and chairperson of the Department of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology at the UCSF School of Medicine in an interview. In some cases that sub-group might even be more at risk as people mid-to-late 20s and 30s have become more attuned to mild to moderate e-cigarette use.
When Buisman and her research colleagues surveyed more than 600 people who said they had tried the vapes they found that approximately 77 percent had experienced at least one clinically relevant adverse event-such as dizziness nausea and anxiety-that was related to the use of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes do contain nicotine Buisman explained adding that she prefers not to give her students these products because she suspects that problems will be far worse than the nicotine shes studied-the long-term health consequences for people who try them.
Some studies have linked e-cigarettes to illnesses such as heart failure chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke she explained. So people who use one of these devices might want to learn how dangerous e-cigarettes are for people who try them and how dangerous they are for people who dont try them she said.
The new findings may have implications for public health policy setting the right direction for future research said Gregory Conley a toxicologist and an instructor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Very few studies have looked at the long-term health impact of vaping in people who havent tried vaping Conley said. For these young people who have never tried vaping before its a no-brainer that they should stop.
He added that the findings should raise concerns among all university students about the potential danger of e-cigarettes: Someone says I dont want to use it because it doesnt feel like a cigarette and doesnt harm my lungs Conley said. Too dangerous.
Buzman said it would be a mistake to assume that students who got into vaping cant inhale each and every flavor in a separate session.
Students can vape but I dont want them to quit cigarettes because I dont want them to go on to experience a heart attack or stroke or a stroke she said.
If e-cigarettes are not the answer to everyones problems she said you should really be in a better position to not smoke on a regular basis.