Dr Ilona Jaspers Highlights Major Health Concerns Regarding Teens and Young Adults Vaping

At ERS 2021, Ilona Jaspers, PhD, discusses some of the major health concerns associated with teenagers and young adults vaping.

There are a number of health-related concerns associated with young people vaping, according to Ilona Jaspers, PhD, director of toxicology and the deputy director of the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina. She is also a professor of pediatrics, microbiology, and immunology.

Transcript

What are some health-related concerns associated with young people vaping?

So, there are a few. The most logical one is getting addicted to nicotine. That is something that is of great health concern because young individuals get addicted to nicotine a lot faster than older adults, and that has neurophysiological sort of reasons behind it. So, developing and establishing an addiction that basically follows you through a later portion of your life that's of health concern. With that also comes the concern about nicotine and its effect on neurodevelopment in young adults. So, those are 2 things. Those are nonrespiratory-related concerns.

Now, where my concerns command as an inhalation toxicologist is what does do long term or short term, meaning acutely long term to the lung. Does it have any longer term respiratory effects? And my concern is that it can either predispose you to another sort of challenge that you may encounter. It can exacerbate existing disease, such as asthma, or it can actually make you more prone to developing disease. So, those are the health concerns that that I am worried about.