Health Watch: The different health threats vaping brings

Wade Taylor switched from smoking cigarettes to vaping because he believes it's safer.

"There's like 400 and something chemicals in a cigarette," Taylor said.

Doctor Ilona Jaspers says while that's true, vaping presents a different health threat than smoking.

"The disease manifestations, the pathology we see in these individuals is not something you would ever see in a smoker," Dr. Jaspers said.

Dr. Jaspers, who studies the adverse effects of inhaled chemicals, says we know cigarettes can cause COPD, cancer and emphysema, but what about e-cigarettes?

"We don't know what this may cause 20 years down the road," Dr. Jaspers said.

That's one reason why Jaspers' research team is taking a closer look at what's in these products. They filled a plastic container with a popular flavoring agent found in liquid nicotine and let it sit for two hours.

"We just put a drop of the cinnamon flavoring there, and it etched away the plastic and basically ate it away," says Phillip Clapp, Ph.D.

Dr. Jaspers says the real concern is more young people are vaping nicotine without knowing the consequences.

"It delivers a high dose very quickly, so it gets these teens addicted much faster than a cigarette does," Jaspers said.

And she says you don't always know how much nicotine you're getting.

"In Europe, you can only have 2% nicotine, whereas here we have up to 8%," Dr. Jaspers said.

She agrees regulation is key but says the priority is stopping the growing number of teens from vaping.

"Prevention, education and getting these kids off of the nicotine addiction," Dr. Jaspers said.
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