Here’s what we know today about the dangers of vaping

Here's what we know today about the dangers of vaping

Florida International University psychologists Elisa Trucco and Matthew Sutherland are in a race to find answers about the impact of e-cigarettes on the adolescent brain. Calls to the FIU Center for Children and Families have been increasing as concerned parents are trying to understand the effects of e-cigarettes. Trucco and Sutherland are leading one of the first studies to examine decision-making as it relates to vaping devices.

E-cigarette use, or vaping, among teens has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the surgeon general, vaping among high school students increased by 900 percent from 2011 to 2015. The nation is now scrambling to find effective ways to discourage vaping and educate misinformed teens and their parents on the dangers of e-cigarette use in what the FDA is calling an epidemic.

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of nicotine because their brains are still rapidly developing, according to Trucco and Sutherland. Research is critical to help clinicians improve prevention programming and assist policymakers in deciding how to continue regulating these products, they said. Their current project—Antecedents and Consequences of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ACE)—is funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of a collaborative research study between the FIU Center for Children and Families and the Research Center in Minority Institutions. They are studying what influences an adolescent’s decision to use or not use e-cigarettes, vaping devices or other electronic nicotine delivery systems and how that decision may affect other risky behaviors and the developing brain.

While Trucco and Sutherland are currently recruiting participants for the study, there are some facts they want parents to know.

Most e-cigarettes contain the highly addictive drug nicotine

Most types of e-cigarettes, including the most popular brand Juul, contain nicotine, the addictive drug found in traditional tobacco cigarettes. One Juul pod contains roughly the same amount of nicotine found in 20 cigarettes (or one pack). Nicotine is highly addictive and can cause brain changes leading to compulsive use of e-cigarettes.

Long-term effects of vaping are unknown

Although e-cigarettes were developed in part to help adult smokers cut their tobacco-use and to provide a “healthier” alternative, no study has yet been conducted that can provide information on the long-term effects of e-cigarette use. Due to the recent dramatic increase in e-cigarette use, preliminary findings are now showing that there is a negative effect on heart and lung function associated with e-cigarette use. However, there is still no definitive answer on whether these risks outweigh the benefits of switching from traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Vaping leads to higher risk of cigarette smoking in teens

Teenage e-cigarette users are actually at a higher risk of smoking tobacco cigarettes compared to non-users. More than 30 percent of adolescent e-cigarette users start smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes within six months.

Vaping can produce second-hand effects

Although e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, breathing in the second-hand vapor is not harmless. The aerosol from e-cigarettes contains many potentially harmful chemicals, including lead and other heavy metals. It also has flavorings including diacetyl, which has been linked to lung disease. The second-hand vapor can also contain nicotine, which when inhaled by non-users can increase their risk of becoming nicotine dependent. There is also the danger of third-hand exposure, which occurs when residual nicotine from the second-hand vapor remains on surfaces and is absorbed through unintentional ingestion or through the skin via contact.


Cancer death gap widens in poorer areas

CancerImage copyright jamesbenet/Thinkstock
Image caption Lung, bowel, breast and prostate cancers all saw a slowdown in decline in death rates

There is a growing gap between cancer death rates of people living in deprived parts of Wales and those in richer areas, latest trends suggest.

The drop in cancer deaths in the most deprived areas is not as steep as less deprived areas, said the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit.

Macmillan Cancer Support said it was concerned about the widening gap.

The charity said it was also “worrying” to see a slowing down of the falling cancer death rate.

In the seven years to 2017, the age-adjusted cancer death rate in Wales fell by 5.4%, but in the same period before 2010, the cancer death rate dropped by 9.2%.

The rate of decline was also more rapid in Scotland and England – and amongst women.

The latest trends – published in a cancer mortality report – also show half of cancer deaths are of people who are aged under 75.

The latest trends show cancer death rates are falling – and are still falling steeply in poorer areas. But the gap is widening between people living in the most deprived areas and those in the least deprived parts of Wales.

This gap increased by 14.1% between 2001 and 2005, and 2013 and 2017, from 111 cancer deaths per 100,000 people to 126.6 cancer deaths per 100,000 people.

  • Q&A: Cancer in Wales
  • NHS Wales aims to speed up cancer diagnsosisdiagnosis
  • Cancer statistics broken down across Wales

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, with 1,891 deaths in 2017 – more than 20% of all cancer deaths.

It is also is now increasing amongst very old men, as well as in middle-aged to older women, and very old women.

Richard Pugh, of Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said there was still too much variation in how many people die from cancer according to where they live, their gender and the type of cancer they have.

“We need a focused effort across Wales to support early cancer diagnosis, timely, high quality cancer treatment which meets people’s needs, as well as the right workforce and infrastructure in place to support this,” he said


6 hair and skincare tips to be summer ready

In summer, less is more should be your mantra.

With summer comes melting make-up, smeared eyeliner, and super-sticky hair. Hence, it is important to give proper care to your skin and hair. Sushma Khan, National Creative Director-Makeup, Lakmé Salon, and TIGI Educator Audrey D’Souza list tips to make your make-up last long:

For make-up

* Go light: In summer, less is more should be your mantra. The lesser the products you use, the lighter your skin will feel and make-up will not feel heavy. It is highly recommended to use products with anti-bacterial properties. Replace your foundation with a concealer to hide imperfections and feel light. Products with SPF of 30++ at least are a must. BB creams are also a great option as it is a combination of moisturiser and tinted foundation. Use light water-based products and cut down on make up products to less than half.

Invest in waterproof eyeliners, mascaras and eye pencils. (Shutterstock)

* Multitask with your makeup : Invest in a product that does it all — for the lips, lids, and cheeks. Simply choose from a range of summery bright or light lip and cheek tints as it will add a healthy glow with minimalistic colour.

* Switch to waterproof: Invest in waterproof eyeliners, mascaras and eye pencils. With the temperatures rising, one tends to wipe of the face regularly. This might, at times, end up in either smudging or fading make-up. Choose between a highly or lightly pigmented waterproof eye products.

Frizzy hair is a major problem in summer. (Shutterstock)

For hair:

* Cocktail of products: Prepare your hair using a cocktail of smoothening and anti-frizz serums to smoothen your hair and get rid of frizz at the same time.

* Shortcut to volume: Wash and condition your hair with a volumising shampoo and conditioner to combat limp and sticky hair. Prep your hair with volumising lotion before you blow-dry to give your hair volume.

* Beach waves for days: Boho-inspired beachy waves are the ultimate summer hair-do. Apply curling mousse on wet hair and scrunch it up in a bun. Use tongs to achieve the wavy look. You can also opt for dry shampoos to fight the stickiness on your hair.



Fasting diets could increase the risk of diabetes and cause damaging side effects, new research suggests.

A group of scientists speaking at the European Society of Endocrinology’s annual meeting this weekend revealed that while fasting can help shed weight it can also impair the action of insulin – the sugar-regulating hormone – and lead to an increased risk of diabetes.

As a result, the researchers are urging people to take care before starting a weight loss programme such as the 5:2.

“This is the first study to show that, despite weight loss, intermittent fasting diets may actually damage the pancreas and affect insulin function in normal healthy individuals, which could lead to diabetes and serious health issues,” said Ana Bonassa, study author from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

In order to investigate the consequences of diets like the 5:2, researchers examined the effects of fasting every other day on the body weight, free radical levels and insulin function of normal, adult rats, over a three-month period.

It found that although the rats’ body weight and food intake decreased as expected over the study period, the amount of fat tissue in their abdomen actually increased.

Furthermore, the cells of the pancreas that release insulin showed damage and there was also a presence of increased levels of free radicals and markers of insulin resistance.

“We should consider that overweight or obese people who opt for intermittent fasting diets may already have insulin resistance, so although this diet may lead to early, rapid weight loss, in the long-term there could be potentially serious damaging effects to their health, such as the development of type-2 diabetes,” Bonassa added.

Although this new data was obtained in normal weight rats with positive effects on weight gain and food intake, the results also suggest that in the long-term harm may be caused.

As such, more investigation is needed to assess how people may be affected, particularly those with existing metabolic issues.

As a result of their findings, the researchers now plan to investigate how this kind of diet impairs pancreas and insulin function.