Vaping tied to increased lead, uranium exposure risk: Research

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Vaping by young people led to increased risk of lead and uranium exposure, according to a new study. 

The study, published Monday in the journal Tobacco Control, found that both people aged 13 to 17 who used e-cigarettes in timespans lasting six to 19 days and over 20 days in the previous month had higher urine lead levels than those who only used e-cigarettes for one to five days in the last month. Those who used e-cigarettes in the study for over 20 days in the month before also had elevated urine uranium levels. The study looked at 200 e-cigarette users with a median age of around 16 years.

“Vaping in early life could increase the risk of exposure to metals, potentially harming brain and organ development,” the study reads. “Regulations on vaping should safeguard the youth population against addiction and exposure to metals.”

Another recent study found that those who use e-cigarettes are 19 percent more likely to develop heart failure in comparison to people who haven’t used them. 

Over 1 in 10 Americans from 18 to 24 use e-cigarettes regularly, a study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in July found. Despite vaping possibly helping people quit cigarettes, the CDC study also found a rising trend in people smoking cigarettes and vaping interchangeably.

“Dual use of tobacco products is a health concern because it may result in greater exposure to toxins and worse respiratory outcomes than using either product alone,” the study reads.

“In 2021, most e-cigarette users aged 18–24 had never smoked cigarettes,” it continues. “Despite this, the percentage of adults aged 18–24 who were dual users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes was similar to the percentage among adults aged 25–44 (1.8% compared with 2.0%).”

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