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Dr. Manganaris at DAR, vaping talk
Dr. Christopher Manganaris gave DAR students the medical perspective on vaping and e-cigarettes.

Thu, May 23, 2019 at 07:15 PM

Juul is no jewel according to local pulmonologist

DAR students got the medical perspective on vaping from Dr. Christopher Manganaris, who explained why e-cigarettes are not as harmless as many think.

Before DAR students headed home for the summer, they got a very important lesson on the dangers of e-cigarettes. 

Dr. Christopher Manganaris, a pulmonologist with Pulmonary and Sleep Associates of Marshall County, warned more than 400 7th-10th graders that vaping may appear cool but it actually damages peoples’ health much like cigarettes.   

“An e-cigarette user is four times more likely to smoke regular cigarettes,” he said, also noting the amount of nicotine certain devices deliver.

“You’re getting almost a pack of cigarettes in a pod,” he said.

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, e-vaporizers or electronic nicotine delivery systems, are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. They can resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes, cigars or pipes, or even everyday items like pens or USB memory sticks. More than 460 different e-cigarette brands are currently on the market.

The most popular one among youth is Juul (pronounced ‘jewel’), which looks like a flash drive. Since Juul first hit the market in mid-2015, e-cigarette use among teenagers has become epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of high schoolers using an e-cigarette in 2018 is roughly 3 million, up more than 75 percent since last year's National Youth Tobacco Survey by the CDC.

Unlike earlier e-cigarettes, Juuls use a pod instead of an atomizer or tank. The vape pod holds the e-liquid and vaporizes it.

Dr. Manganaris told students that e-cigarettes got their start in the United States in 2006 as a device to help people quit smoking. They were not regulated until 2016. In his practice, the main health problem he has seen in patients who use e-cigarettes is asthma. Two patients had to be put on ventilators in order to breathe after their asthma worsened due to vaping, he said. Another health risk e-cigarette users face is collapsed lung.

The danger of cancer from vaping is real, he said. E-cigarettes contain nicotine in different amounts. Multiple substances in e-cigarette liquid are known to cause cancers. Also, many substances change when heated - especially flavorings – which can cause them to become toxic to the body.