In Oklahoma, the first serious lung injury associated with e-cigarette and vaping use has been announced- and the patient is under 18.
As the concerns rise, many want answers.
Dr. Alayna Tackett, an OU professor here at the Health Sciences Center is researching the long-term effects of these devices.
“We surveyed youth across the United States and what we have found is that 40% of youth ages 13-17 believe Juul did not contained nicotine,” says Dr. Tackett.
Parents should be concerned their child might not be aware of the problems these devices have associated with them.
The first e-cigarette was created in 1967 to be a safe and harmless method for adults to smoke; but, as the times change, students are getting a hold of them.
“My biggest worry is there are adolescents and young adults that we call ‘tobacco naive’,” says Dr. Tackett. “So they have never used combustible tobacco, but they have picked up e- cigarettes so they might be developing a lifelong addiction.”
Though Dr. Tackett works on studying the effects, the results will take some time.
“People have been using combustible tobacco, so cigarettes, for a very long time so we have these cohorts of individuals that we have been able to study and say like ‘yep
smoking does x-y-z, but with vaping and e-cigarettes we just don’t have the longevity of data.”
She believes the baseline of preliminary data is most likely to be out in 1-2 years, and the full scope is likely to come out in about 4 years.
But what we can do as a community? Help others stay away.
Oklahoma has programs set up in case you need help- Tobacco Helpline, T-set and Tobacco Stops with Me are available at any time.