EP1: vaping (part 1) how vaping trend started and its Long-term Dangers with Dr. Tsai
Ep1: Vaping (Part 1) - How the Vaping Trend Started and Its Long-Term Dangers with Dr. Tsai
Transcribed: Nicole Hausmann
Interview: Authors Dr. Wilson Tsai and Jennifer Banmiller
Hive 80 and Periscope Group
Dr. Tsai: “Vaping is introducing a drug into your body. As with any drug there is a high rate of drug addiction so I do think we will see a section of patients that will have more chronic issues – shortness of breath, persistent coughing all the same thing we know with these patients that are smoking cigarettes. “
Narrator: “In the last few years there has been an explosion of popularity of e cigarettes and vaping by children and teens. Largely driven by the assumption that these products are safer than cigarettes. More and more reports of vaping related complications, hospitalization and even deaths are reported every day. We spoke with dr. Wilson Tsai who is Chair of the thoracic division of the Bass medical group in the San Francisco Bay Area. About the dangers of vaping there use among young people and long-term ramifications of our healthcare system. But how does vaping work? And why is it so detrimental? “
Dr. Tsai: “The premise behind vaping is to have a chemical that could potentially mood altering or have some simulation or depressive effect delivered into the person’s body. Vaping consists of an energy source that we see as a pen and that source then heats up the cartridge. In order for that cartridge to dispense a vapor the heat has to activate certain chemicals. The heat derived from the vaping pen will cause a chemical reaction that allows the cartridge to form a liquid to a gas phase. So that chemical process requires certain agents to be introduced there. For example, the THC that was newly introduced into this found out a lot of times with THC in order to make that combustion happen they had to put an oil-based vitamin B compound in it and what happens is when you heat up this oil that oil is inhaled in your lungs. We know that oil inhalation can cause severe inflammation in the lung and sometimes lead to pulmonary failure. So, for example, we have found that in the cartridges there is metal that we already know which can become very carcinogenic and cancer forming to the patient's body and all cause severe health risk. So, for example, there could be mercury, tin, or Nickel that are found in these cartridges. “
Narrator: “but metals are not the only potentially dangerous substance introduced into the body when vaping.”
Dr. Tsai: “Other sort of chemicals that are introduced into these cartridges have to do with enhancing the flavors. For example, there is a well-known chemical called thioacetal that we use to use in the past to flavor butter popcorn. Back then the factory workers were having severe pulmonary complications where we discovered by inhaling this chemical thioacetal that was a flavor enhancer that can cause Permanent damage to the lungs leading to what is commonly known as popcorn lung. Popcorn lung is a medical terminology known as a disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. What that mean is the lung tissue has been damage so badly that essentially the lung will no long exchange oxygen and carbon monoxide.”
Narrator: “Chemicals, metals and other potential carcinogens are unintentionally inhaled as a by -product of the vaping mechanism itself. Well, what about the drugs that manufactures that intend for users to absorb? Is vaping really a safer way to deliver these drugs? “
Dr. Tsai: “So many of these cartridges for example have a significant amount of nicotine or the latest craze has been introducing THC into these cartridges as well to deliver the marijuana effect. But unfortunately, with these cartridges some have as much nicotine in it as an entire pack or pack and a half of cigarettes.
Narrator: “This high concentration can be extremely detrimental to the user’s health especially for younger people.
Dr, Tsai:'' especially in the younger population where it seems the vaping corporation is marketing towards. In a lot of these young patients, they are not able to handle all the nicotine like a full-grown adult. We know that when a child is under 25 years of age there is a certain portion of their brain called prefrontal cortex that is still not fully developed and unfortunately for so many of these young children who are vaping with this excessive concentration of nicotine that one cartridge causes severe addiction potential.
Narrator: “Biology of how vaping works gives some insight to why it is potentially so addictive to young people.
Dr. Tsai: “So the reason that vaping and smoking cause an immediate high is what a lot of these people are looking for. The way that the agent is introduced is into your lungs. The lungs have a very rich network of blood vessels that allow a very efficient exchange of the drug into the bloodstream because the surface of the lung is so excessive and in a gasses form that goes immediately to the lung and is picked up by the blood stream. Again, the blood stream is through your entire body up to your brain and heart and so on and so forth and that is why vaping can potentially be so favorable among our teenagers and youth because of the effects they feel are almost immediate due to that mechanism. I think now that we are starting to see the potentially terminal effect of vaping with these 18-year-old extremely healthy high school football players on ventilators is this huge spike in complication if you vape.
Narrator: “Dr. Tsai is seeing more and more young patients who vape excessively. But is vaping any worse than sneaking cigarettes?
Dr. Tsai: We are seeing more complications occurring in younger patients and on the new as well. We see them healthy teenagers who suddenly have a major pulmonary event and are on a ventilator. And of course, the mortality is really in question now, I think the one in question about these children are, and they are children, one thing we can identify one complication was that they were vapors that vaped for an excessive amount of time. When we were young, we had our friends who were smoking cigarettes in the bath so on and so forth, I don’t remember any of them ending up on a ventilator. I think partly why is the synthetic drug maker, the synthetic nature power vaping is causing the massive pulmonary damage we did not see with the cigarette smokers way way back in the past.
Narrator: “This increased usage coupled with the incredible amounts of concentrated vaping quickly and efficiently lead to severe complications that are usually not seen in young healthy individuals.”
Dr. Tsai: “Some of these patients may develop permanent lung damage, nothing can be done for the patient. I do think the other potential cardiac causes arrhythmia and any time a patient has any sort of dangerous heart you can have problems with stroke and certain parts of the heart not receiving blood where it needs to. Again, you can complete major damage or heart failure because of this. And so, I think the spectrum of complications are vast and unfortunately with something this new I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the complications really are because we do not have that excessive exposure like we see with cigarettes.
Narrator: these severe complications on impact to older adults, but with young people the consequences can be even more devastating.
Dr. Tsai:``If you aren't healthy it makes it hard to accomplish your goals. I think it compounds your rate of failure if you’re adding more health concerns. And life is hard enough remembering when we were going through college? Now that was hard and rigorous.
Narrator: “and it won’t be people just injured by vaping that will suffer these consequences due to these devastating complications.
Dr. Tsai: If the patient has a devastating disability at 26 years of age and we are expecting a live mortality rate of 83 years of age, for example that close to 55 years that unfortunately will not be helping their system. So, I do think the biggest concern about health care cost has to do with inadequacy of health care coverage in that population as well as the duration of the complication and compounded cost of paying for the complication. I do think costs are going to be excessive to point that again it will be another discussion for how we fund these complications as well.
Narrator: “But how does Dr. Tsai a father himself suggest we deal with this epidemic effectively?
Dr. Tsai: “I think the most important thing is probably educate your children and I think as these children get older, they probably don’t wanna hear scare tactics as much as the educational competent because these kids are smart and I think it is important to educate them that these corporations are trying to market that vaping is safer than cigarette smoking. So, look, we got this patient off of cigarette smoking and on to vaping. It’s almost like telling an alcoholic that if he is drinking his Jonny Walker any more he will drink beer so it is a safe product, but in essence that is not the case it is the same drug being delivered. So, I think one thing we need to educate our children is that vaping is not a safer alternative to smoking. The data doesn’t prove that. The second thing that I think is important to educate our children about is the fact vaping is smoking and ultimately the process of smoking is introducing a drug or chemical into your body by inhaling so that the pulmonary vascular exchange is a lot much faster and efficient. So, that drug is being delivered a lot faster and more aggressively in your body. Thirdly vaping is a drug you are inhaling or injecting or ingesting drugs into your body and unfortunately people fail to notice it while masking with bubble gum and Kool aid flavor so on and so forth. Children are inhaling these vapors thinking it is safer because it has a pretty white cloud for example. It doesn’t smell as bad or it tastes really good. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You see this child on a ventilator, to him the reality is that vaping is dangerous. Unfortunately, a lot of the message is just washed out and market campaigns and you know are looking to settle disputes, so you know that message still has to be there for all our children. Vaping is smoking. Vaping is using drugs. Vaping is dangerous. I think these are the 3 messages we need to send to our society.”
Narrator: “This has been a presentation of Hive 80 who holds the copyright there too. For more podcast on this and more health-related topics Visit Hive80.com”
Periscope Group- Hive 80 - Vaping, e- cigarettes, Juul, Underage smoking,Popcorn Lung, Cancer, mouth health, teen epidemic, teen smoking, teen health, Juul Lawsuit, Juul Settlement, addiction, drugs