Vaping: Heart Risks for Teen Boys


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) – According to The Centers for Disease Control, more than two million American teens used vape products last year. Twenty-five percent of those teens reported vaping every day. Now, new research shows what happens to the cardiovascular system of adolescents, especially boys, when they vape.

For years, experts have warned about the dangers of smoking. Scientists know much less about vaping. Now, researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine are testing the impacts of the vaping by using teenage mice.

Professor of medicine and nursing at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Loren Wold, PhD, says, “We study mice that are three weeks old, so equivalent to 12 to 15 years old.”

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The researchers expose the mice to an e-cigarette mixture that includes nicotine in a lab enclosure that automatically releases a puff of vape once a minute.

“We do this for several hours per day, five days per week, and we expose the whole animal,” Professor Wold explains.

The mice were exposed for two to three months – the equivalent of about 15 years in humans.

“When we exposed adolescent males, we had significant cardiovascular effects,” Professor Wold further explains.

But researchers say the heart function was not impacted at all in the female mice. One theory is the female mice had much higher levels of an enzyme called CYP 2A5.

Professor Wold says, “The theory is that this enzyme being much higher, was able to break the nicotine down much faster.”

A similar enzyme is also present in women. Next, scientists want to learn if that offers women protection from vape-related heart problems.

The researchers say even if women’s hearts are offered some additional protection from vape products, it doesn’t mean vaping is safe for girls. Scientists still don’t know the impact on developing brains and other body systems. Also, the scientists say this research is important to conduct on mice because it would be unethical to recruit teenagers for this kind of study.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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BACKGROUND: Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or another vaping device. E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales. That’s why using e-cigarettes is called “vaping.” Vaping hasn’t been around long enough for us to know how it affects the body over time. But health experts are reporting serious lung damage in people who vape, including some deaths. Vaping puts nicotine into the body. Nicotine is highly addictive and can slow brain development in kids and teens and affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, mood, and increase the risk of other types of addiction as adults. E-cigarettes also irritate the lungs, may cause serious lung damage and even death, and can lead to smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco use. Some people use e-cigarettes to vape marijuana, THC oil, and other dangerous chemicals. Besides irritating the lungs, these drugs also affect how someone thinks, acts, and feels.


STATS: The use of e-cigarettes is on the rise, but is it a passing fad or here to stay?  As of 2018, nine percent of U.S. adults said they “regularly or occasionally” vape. In the U.S., 27.5 percent of high school students use vape products. According to a 2019 survey, more than five million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. Nearly one million youth e-cigarette users use the product daily, and one point six million use it more than 20 times per month. Twenty percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 use vape products, compared with 16% of those ages 30 to 64, and fewer than 0.5% among those 65 and older.  Young people ages 15 to 17 are 16 times more likely to vape than people ages 25 to 34. From 2017 to 2019, the percent of high school students who vaped in the past 30 days increased among 12th graders 11 percent to 25 percent , 10th graders 8 percent to 20 percent, and 8th graders 4 percent to 9 percent.


HOW TO QUIT: One of the best ways to start quitting is to take a clear look at how vaping is affecting your life. Some questions to consider: Is vaping getting in the way of your daily activities? Do you rely on vaping to get through the day? Do you notice vaping affecting your health? Another way is to build a positive mindset. Studies show that people who believe that they have the ability to overcome their addiction had higher levels of motivation, commitment, and willpower than those who focused on the permanence of addiction. They also reported fewer setbacks and barriers to quitting. Other studies show that people with a positive mindset may have fewer cravings, find quitting easier, and are less likely to relapse.‌ You can build a positive mindset through meditation, exercise, and other mindfulness activities. Lastly, is to be prepared. Quitting vaping can be hard but having a plan and knowing what to expect will set you up for success.



Amy Colgan

(614) 425-0424

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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Loren Wold, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Nursing

Read the entire Q&A