Health Experts Accuse Tobacco Companies Of Using Vaping To Hook New Generation Onto Smoking
Smoking cigarettes was incredibly widespread back in the day.
You could do it everywhere: on planes, in bars and clubs and at work. But as the reality of chain smoking a couple of ciggies each day came into focus, people in their droves chucked their packs in the bin and vowed to never return.
The medical community breathed a sigh of relief as they watched the number of people taking up smoking decline over the past few decades.
However, they're worried that young people are getting hooked onto vaping and e-cigarettes because they seem cool and less harmful.
While there have been numerous studies that say smoking e-cigs are less harmful than smoking, researchers admit the long term effects aren't fully understood yet.
Cancer Council Australia's Libby Jardine told the ABC: "We know that the tobacco industry is what we call 're-emergent' in Australia and are heavily marketing these products as a reduced-risk product.
"E-cigarettes are not a reduced-risk product. We don't have enough evidence to say e-cigarettes are safe, or safer [than tobacco smoking].
"We know that even in healthy young people, the use of e-cigarettes can impair blood vessel function. The news about vaping and the use of e-cigarettes is getting worse very day."
Earlier this month there was a shocking case of a teenager who suffered a collapsed lung, which he attributed to smoking on his vape pen.
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Chance Ammirata, from Florida, United States, used to smoke one pod every couple of days - the equivalent to around 10 cigarettes worth of nicotine - and is urging people to throw their vapes away.
His warning comes a week after he was rushed to hospital with a suspected muscle strain which turned out to be serious lung damage.
The 18-year-old isn't the only alleged victim as doctors fear there are many more.
Wisconsin medics have confirmed that at least 12 people have been hospitalised and treated for severe lung damage after vaping.
The first of the cases was reported in July, with the numbers growing, and most appear to be people under the age of 40.
Speaking to CBS News, Dr. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, said: "It's mind-boggling. The vast majority of people who smoke started as children or as young teens, and yet you don't hear about people getting lung cancer until their 40s, 50s, 60s.
"Think about that compared to what's happening to these kids now. I've never heard of a smoker ending up in the hospital in their teens."
Wisconsin's Department of Health Services confirmed 12 cases and is investigating 13 others, with some older patients also experiencing lung damage, including a few in their 50s, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Featured Image Credit: PA