May 24, 2019

person vaping

A new video highlights research while urging caution regarding the use of e-cigarettes and vaping. Produced by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility (CEHS), the video opens with striking historical footage showing doctors recommending specific brands of cigarettes. The message – let’s learn from history. Research is suggesting that we should be cautious in our approach to vaping and that it might not be as safe as we think.

In the video, Ilona Jaspers, Ph.D., who leads the cardiopulmonary research theme within the UNC CEHS, highlights the rising popularity of vaping particularly among adolescents and the need for more research to understand potential health effects. She is studying how vaping and e-liquid flavorings affect lung and airway health. Her research focuses on how flavorings, many of which are approved for use in foods, affect health when inhaled. In the video, Jaspers discusses the potential toxicities from e-cigarette use.

Jaspers likes giving presentations at schools in the community to inform teens about potential risks. “I see how it’s use is exploding in middle schools and high schools, so for me personally the call of action is to effect change directly in my community,” Jaspers explained in the video.

“The bottom line is e-cigarettes are not without health effects,” Jaspers said in the video. “They’re changing the lung and airway tissue as compared to an otherwise healthy non-smoking, non-vaping person. And they’re changing it in a different way than what we know cigarette smoking does.” On a larger scale, she said her research provides data that may help federal agencies set regulations for e-cigarettes and e-liquids to better protect human health.

Watch the five-minute video to learn more.