Dr Ilona Jaspers: How Vaping Impacts Teens vs Adults

Adolescents and adults are affected differently by vaping and have different health concerns, 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.

Adolescents and adults are affected differently by vaping and have different health concerns, 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:

How are adolescents impacted by vaping differently than adults, and why does this occur?

So, I think it is because the lungs are not fully developed in teenagers. And so, are there any developmental concerns that could unfold later in life? That's certainly one thing. One aspect that we are currently really interested in is that about 18 months ago, all research, even the vaping research, had a shift towards COVID-19. Everyone is doing COVID-19. Everyone in the respiratory field is doing something related to COVID-19. And 1 concern for us was that there are epidemiological studies indicating that those who vape e-cigarettes, either alone or together with conventional cigarettes, are more likely to get COVID-19 and may have, other disease outcomes. So, we're still actively investigating that.

But another aspect that's hitting us, potentially right now, is does vaping potentially affect the ability and longevity of COVID-19 vaccine antibodies? And that is obviously of importance to teenagers and young adults because probably, once they get the vaccine, they think it's basically back to 2019 and are behaving accordingly. But are their behaviors or their their use of e-cigarettes and vaping actually modify potentially their immunity, either acutely or long term? That is something that we're actively investigating now.