The Dangers of Vaping: Protecting Lung Health

The Dangers of Vaping: Protecting Lung Health

Dr. Butler, president of the Irish Thoracic Society, has highlighted the importance of not smoking or vaping for maintaining good lung health. He expressed concern over the increasing use of e-cigarettes by young people, citing a 50% rise in vaping among 15 to 16-year-olds in Ireland. The numbers have gone up from 23% in 2015 to 39% in 2019. Furthermore, 18% of young people in 2019 were current users of e-cigarettes, compared to 10% in 2015. Alarmingly, 68% of users had never smoked traditional cigarettes before trying e-cigarettes, which often contain highly addictive nicotine in large doses.

Dr. Butler emphasized the negative effects of vaping and stressed the importance of evidence-based approaches to quitting smoking. Unfortunately, many smokers who turn to e-cigarettes end up using both e-cigarettes and tobacco, worsening their situation. As World Lung Day approaches, the Irish Thoracic Society is urging individuals to prioritize their lung health by taking five key actions: quitting or never starting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, breathing clean air, and getting vaccinated. These recommendations align with the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign by the European Lung Foundation and the European Respiratory Society.

Smoking-related deaths remain a significant issue, with approximately 100 people dying each week in Ireland due to smoking. Additionally, air pollution leads to over 1,400 premature deaths annually. To address these concerns, new restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes are expected to be implemented by the end of the year. The forthcoming Public Health (Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill will introduce measures aimed at reducing the appeal and availability of tobacco and nicotine-inhaling products to young people. These measures include a ban on selling nicotine-inhaling products to those under 18, the establishment of a licensing system for retailers, and restrictions on advertising near schools, in cinemas, and on public transport.

– Dr Butler, President of the Irish Thoracic Society
– European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs
– Healthy Lungs for Life campaign by the European Lung Foundation and the European Respiratory Society

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