VAPING is causing lung damage a Lancet study has found, as doctors urge the public to steer clear of e-cigarettes.
Medics examined 60 US patients treated for “vaping associated injuries” and found a quarter of those readmitted for treatment were still showing abnormalities weeks later.
Study participants diagnosed with vaping-related lung injuries showed flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain.
Abdominal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain were also reported.
According to the medics, chest x-rays of these patients revealed abnormalities in the lungs that are usually associated with pneumonia, fluid in lungs or lung inflammation.
The test subjects were reported to have used e-cigarettes within 90 days of the symptoms appearing.
How safe are e-cigarettes in the UK?
In the UK, e-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality.
They’re not completely risk free, but they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes.
E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.
The liquid and vapour contain some potentially harmful chemicals also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.
While nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, it’s relatively harmless.
Almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.
Nicotine replacement therapy has been widely used for many years to help people stop smoking and is a safe treatment.
There’s no evidence so far that vaping causes harm to other people around you.
This is in contrast to secondhand smoke from smoking, which is known to be very harmful to health.
Most of them were treated with oxygen and steroids, along with a course of antibiotics due to overlapping pneumonia symptoms.
While more than half of the patients were admitted to an intensive care unit, the researchers said most of them recovered quickly following steroid treatments.
However, six of those patients relapsed and had complications requiring hospital readmission.
Among the patients who were readmitted to the hospital, most of them had been critically ill when they initially came in for care and half of them had resumed vaping after discharge, researchers reported.
Of 26 patients who were followed up within two weeks, 10 of them had residual abnormalities in their lungs.
Two patients died and lung injury associated with e-cigarettes or vaping was thought to be a contributing factor, but not the cause of death, for both, the researchers wrote in their paper.
As the cause of e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury still remains unknown, the researchers urged the public to steer clear of e-cigs.
Lead author Dr Denitza Blagev, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Intermountain Healthcare said: “Time will show us the long-term outcomes and the cause of this new disease, but in the meantime, the surest way to prevent lung injuries associated with e-cigarettes, or vaping, is not to vape.”
In the UK, Public Health England stands by its claim that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.
It maintains that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are more tightly regulated in the UK than in the US.
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