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Study finds link between vaping and asthma in teens

Editor’s Note: The video above shows KXAN Live’s top stories from September 28, 2023.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Vaping may increase the risk of asthma even if these kids have never smoked a typical tobacco product, according to research from the Texas A&M University School of Public Health.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices. When inhaled, a liquid, usually infused with nicotine and flavoring, heats up and creates a vapor. The research team said the devices were innovated as alternatives to tobacco products but have become increasingly popular among children and teenagers. A study into 2021 e-cigarette trends found that 11.3% of high school students reported vaping in the past 30 days.

Taehyun Roh, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University, and his team analyzed data from an annual national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the relationship between e-cigarettes and asthma, and what risk factors lead teens to develop the habit.

The analysis included more than 3,000 Texas high school students who completed surveys from 2015 to 2019.Researchers compared that data with responses from more than 30,000 teens across the United States

The team behind the study looked at people’s responses to questions about e-cigarette use, asthma, age, ethnicity, depression and drug use.

In addition to finding a link between asthma and e-cigarettes, the analysis also showed that age, substance use and depression were all factors associated with e-cigarette use among Texas teens. They also found that men were more likely to use e-cigarettes than women.

“Increased understanding of the harmful effects of e-cigarette use, implementation of stricter regulations, and promotion of alternative coping mechanisms for mental health are potential interventions to reduce e-cigarette use,” Roh said. Quoting from the press release.

While they found that Hispanic teens were less likely to use e-cigarettes than white Texas teens, the researchers found no significant differences among U.S. racial or ethnic groups overall.

Lu and his team hope this study can inform public health policy and strategies and ultimately reduce adolescent use of these products.

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