If you thought the effects of vaping were merely physical, think again. Two new studies from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) has uncovered a link between vaping and mental fog. Both adults and kids who vape were more likely to report difficulties in concentrating, remembering or making decisions compared to their non-vaping, non-smoking peers. It also appeared that kids were more likely to experience mental fog if they started vaping before the age of 14.
What the Study Found
While other studies have found links between e-cigarette use and mental impairment in animals, the URMC team is the first to draw this connection in people. The team mined data from two major national surveys to draw its conclusions. The studies, published in the journals Tobacco Induced Diseases and Plos One, analyzed more than 18,000 middle and high school student responses to the National Youth Tobacco Survey and more than 886,000 responses to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System phone survey from U.S. adults.
Both surveys ask questions about smoking and vaping habits as well as problems people may have with memory, attention and mental function. Researchers found that people who smoke or use e-cigarettes, irrespective of age, are most likely to report struggling with mental function.
Behind that group, people who only vape or only smoke reported mental fog at similar rates, which were much higher than those reported by individuals who do not smoke or vape. The study focusing on youth also found that students who began using e-cigarettes earlier, between the ages of 8 and 13, were more likely to have difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions compared to those who began vaping at 14 or older.
Harmful Effects of Vaping
These studies are a great cause for concern. There is no question that adolescence is a crucial period for brain development. These studies show that e-cigarettes are causing serious, long-term harm to mental function in children and teens apart from affecting their lung function. Study after study has shown that the chemicals in e-cigarettes can be as harmful to one’s health if not more harmful than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Our product liability lawyers have held that e-cigarettes are simply a ruse to re-brand and market these harmful products to young people. E-cigarettes companies have been caught selling flavors of vaping products to lure more young people. As product defect lawyers, we will fight to hold these unscrupulous companies accountable.