By Dr. Joseph Ojah, Thoracic Surgeon, Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital

Vaping may be a useful tool in a harm-reduction model of smoking cessation in adults. But the serious consequences from the major uptake of vaping in previously healthy, non-smoking youth, are becoming much more broadly known in the media.

The long-term physical and structural damaging effects on fragile lung tissue are not yet fully understood since vaping is a relatively recent “trend”.

Vaping includes the inhalation of aerosolized chemicals, ultra-fine particles, volatile compounds, heavy metals and other harmful materials, including highly addictive nicotine, which all have serious detrimental effects.

This has produced the alarming reports throughout the United States and Canada of increasing numbers of vape users requiring intensive care and mechanical ventilation over the past year.

As a thoracic surgeon, even I am starting to see some related lung illness (inflammation and tissue destruction) in my patients.