Study finds elevated uranium, lead levels in teen vapers

Vaping has been linked to higher toxins in teenagers

What’s the story

A recent study published in the journal Tobacco Control, has discovered a worrying connection between teenage vaping and increased levels of uranium and lead.

The research found that teenagers who used e-cigarettes five to 19 days per month, had urine lead levels 30% higher than less frequent users.

Additionally, regular vapers showed double the uranium levels compared to their infrequent counterparts.

Study’s implications on long-term health effects of vaping

The researchers behind the study suggest that these findings could indicate an increased risk of metal exposure in young e-cigarette users.

However, they clarified that the study was observational, and did not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between vaping and heightened metal exposure.

Associate Professor Kelly Burrowes from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute states, “While vaping is thought to be a safe alternative to smoking, the aerosol still contains a range of chemicals, that may lead to long-term health effects.”

Vaping remains primary source of tobacco use among teens

Data from the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey reveals that despite a slight decrease in popularity, vaping remains the primary method of tobacco use among teenagers, accounting for about 90%.

Approximately one in 10 US high school students use e-cigarettes.

In response to this trend, the US Food and Drug Administration has attempted to curb underage vaping, by banning many types of flavored vapes popular among teens.

Concerns over toxic metals in e-cigarettes

The FDA’s ban on flavored vapes has faced criticism for its loopholes, which have not effectively limited the flavor options for disposable vapes.

Alongside concerns about nicotine addiction, there is increasing worry about toxic metals in e-cigarettes.

Burrowes explained that, “Cadmium and lead are often found in vape aerosol from the vape heating coil and soldering components,” adding that “uranium has not typically been reported in e-liquids or vape aerosol, but is an interesting finding due to its high toxicity.”

Expert questions study’s findings on metal exposure

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