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610 WTVN: Dangers of Vaping

With the more deaths linked to vaping and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use reported in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is cracking down on the issue and researching more about what’s responsible.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an estimated nine million Americans are using e-cigarettes and vaping. Over a third of those are teenagers. Recent reports from the CDC have recommended that those not currently vaping or using e-cigarettes should not start until the issue is further researched.

Jennifer Middleton, MD, a physician with OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital Family Practice, spoke with 610 WTVN host Joel Riley about some of the growing concerns.

With countless devices on the market, the products are frequently advertised as a safer option to traditional cigarettes. However, Dr. Middleton warns that e-cigarettes are not necessarily less addictive than regular cigarettes.

“The nicotine that is in there can be just addictive as a regular cigarette,” said Middleton. “Nicotine is nicotine, and at the end of the day, it’s one of the most addicting substances on Earth.”

Some theories have pointed to an excess of vitamin E extract in the products as the culprit of the illness. While the CDC hasn’t confirmed this claim, Dr. Middleton agrees that an excess of vitamin E can lead to possible health complications.

“There’s only so much of any of these substances that are normal for the human body to consume and get,” said Middleton. “Most folks don’t need mega-vitamins, mega-supplements, or anything above and beyond what they’re getting in a relatively healthy diet. There are some vitamins that will build up in certain cells of the body and potentially cause problems. Vitamin E is one of those.”

Riverside Methodist Family Practice is keeping a close eye for patients with symptoms of the mystery illness and a history of vaping.

“We haven’t seen any specific cases in our office yet, but it’s certainly on our radar screen,” said Middleton.

Unitl more research unfolds, recent reports from the CDC have recommended that those not currently vaping or using e-cigarettes should not start.

“I think the risks are real, and I think the message that vaping may not be safer than cigarettes as initially promised has to be taken seriously,” said Middleton.

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