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E-cigs hurt teens’ lungs even a month after use — study

Vaping can have long-term health effects on teens, research shows.

Teens are getting burned by e-cigarettes even after they stop using them.

Adolescents who currently vape are twice as likely to suffer respiratory symptoms like persistent cough, bronchitis, congestion and phlegm as those who have never used e-cigs, according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care this week.

But researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California were even more alarmed to find that past users, who smoked an e-cig more than 30 days earlier, showed an 85% greater risk of these symptoms over teens who never tried vaping.

“E-cigarettes are known to deliver chemicals toxic to the lungs, including oxidant metals, glycerol vapor, diketone flavoring compounds and nicotine,” explained lead author Dr. Rob McConnell. “However, there has been little study of the chronic health effects of e-cigarettes.”

New study dismisses e-cigs effect on quitting

Vaping is increasingly popular among adolescents. The CDC recently reported that e-cig use among middle and high school students tripled in 2014, even as traditional cigarette use declined.

There’s also evidence to suggest e-cigs could be a gateway drug. Another recent study out of the University of Southern California found that teens who start vaping are 10 times more likely to smoke regular cigarettes.

The Food and Drug has banned selling e-cigarettes to those under 18. In California, you have to be 21 to buy an e-cig.

“Our results suggest that these regulations and an environment that discourages the initiation of any tobacco product may reduce the burden of chronic respiratory symptoms in youth,” said Dr. McConnell. “However, because e-cigarettes are relatively new, additional study is needed to fully understand their long-term effects.”

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