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New vaping study points to hazards

On February 6, 2018

BY EMILY JONES / VN STAFF WRITER

You’ve seen them on campus: the students walking around leaving huge plumes of cotton candy-flavored trails in their wake.

From hipsters to that one cool professor, more Detroit Mercy folks appear to be picking up vaping more than ever.

But vaping may not be as innocent as it seems.

A new study published by The National Academy of Sciences suggests that e-cig smoke (with nicotine) may contribute to cancer of the lung and bladder, in addition to heart disease.

Researchers arrived at these findings because test animals showed DNA damage after being exposed to e-cig smoke. This is due to a process called nitrosation, which is caused by nicotine.

The Varsity News reached out to three students who vape to see what health impacts they have experienced.

Both Channing Sesoko and Giovanni Fernandez said they picked up vaping in high school.

Both switched between vaping and smoking for a while, eventually settling on e-cigs.

It is a habit they both currently continue.

Related to physical effects, Fernandez has noticed a difference.

“My skin did improve when I stopped smoking,” Fernandez said. “Vaping hasn’t worsened my skin at all like cigarettes did.”

For mental effects, Sesoko said that he’s noticed a much higher tolerance to nicotine, although “it’s an almost immediate stress reliever.”

He also said that he coughs up a dark colored mucus after vaping too much.

“It’s not as harsh as the loogeys from cigarettes,” he said.

The third student noted the same experiences as Fernandez and Sesoko.

She asked not to be named because of familial disapproval.

Regarding effects on her health, she has noticed more “negative than positive,” she said.

“I feel less productive and focused as the nicotine high lingers, but it’s short lived,” she said. “And I don’t think it’s going to kill me anytime soon.”

Professor Carla Groh has been teaching at the College of Health Professions since 1996.

She offered her take on vaping – and some advice for students wanting to quit.

“In terms of differences, it is proposed that vaping is less harmful than regular cigarettes because e-cigarette aerosol generally contains fewer toxic chemicals,” she said. “However, the aerosol still contains some harmful substances … so they are not entirely safe.”

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, “which is known to be highly addictive, toxic to developing fetuses and harmful to adolescent brain development” into the twenties, she said.

Further, contrary to perceptions, it is not definite that vaping helps individuals stop smoking tobacco, she said.

As for advice for students wishing to stop vaping or smoking, she recommended seeking help from the CDC Quitline Service, 1-800-784-8699.

If you are trying to quit, she advised to stop hanging around spots where you once lit up and to seek out things like nicotine patches and nasal sprays.

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