Health May 12, 2023 | 9:12 am

Specialist doctors from Santiago warn of high risk of vape use by young adults

Santiago.- Experts consulted by Listin Diario have issued warnings about the greater harm caused by electronic cigarettes, or vapes, specifically on the bodies and behavior of young people compared to traditional cigarettes. In Santiago, where these devices have become increasingly prevalent among students, concerns have been raised regarding the potential risks associated with their widespread use. Pulmonologist Benjamín Hernández has even gone so far as to state that vapes are causing more damage than conventional cigarettes. Similarly, Dr. Samuel Ramos has highlighted that vaping can lead to brain immaturity, an increased risk of addiction, and changes in neurons among adolescents.

Dr. Ramos, the President of the Dominican Foundation for Obesity and Cardiovascular Prevention, has expressed concerns about the composition of vapes, which not only contain tobacco but also perfumes, glycerin, flavorings, and other substances that could have long-term cancer risks. He explains that nicotine, like any other drug, has a higher chance of causing addiction and long-term damage to brain cells in adolescents. Furthermore, young people are particularly susceptible to respiratory system damage due to their underdeveloped lungs, making them more prone to developing asthma at an early age or experiencing complications from pre-existing respiratory conditions.

Dr. Ramos emphasizes that autopsies have revealed short- and medium-term damage resulting from the accumulation of substances associated with vaping. Hernández adds that the continuous use of e-cigarettes can trigger bronchospasms, pulmonary infections, and significant damage to the pulmonary system. The constant exposure to these devices can also cause a crisis in bronchospasm and lead to inflammatory processes in the lungs, as well as the potential for extensive destruction of the pulmonary system.

Dr. Ramos further explains that not only individuals who vape themselves but also those who are exposed to secondhand vapor are at risk. He describes the aerosol produced by vaping as harmful, and even children can be affected by it to a lesser degree. He emphasizes that the consequences of widespread vaping among young people will extend beyond the immediate health impacts, potentially leading to a rise in hospitalizations, complications, intensive care admissions, intubations, and even deaths in cases of influenza, pneumonia, and other lung diseases.

The specialist warns that it is essential to address the issue promptly rather than waiting for the next pandemic to realize the increased risks faced by young individuals. Recognizing the higher likelihood of complications from lung diseases among this demographic, Dr. Ramos calls for preventative measures and proactive management to safeguard the health and well-being of young people.


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