Pulmonologist Dr Beatrice Mahler warned of the negative effects of vaping in an interview with PRO TV. She indicated it is particularly dangerous for teenagers.
"I had a 12-year-old patient with pneumonia caused by vapes. They are sold in grocery shops, which is not a normal situation," said Dr Beatrice Mahler in an interview with the PRO TV website. Dr Mahler is one of the best-known pulmonologists in Romania, heading the Marius Nasta Institute of Pneumophysiology in Bucharest.
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Romanian pulmonologist warns against vaping
In an interview with MyImpact, Dr Mahler stressed that the situation is serious, especially for teenagers, as this generation likes electronic devices and uses them with great ease and freedom. From her conversations with teenagers, it also appears their curiosity often drives them to try different available vape flavours.
The pulmonologist warns that, unlike regular cigarettes, whose serious health effects have been widely studied, the long-term damage caused by electronic smoking devices is not yet known. She pointed out that it is unlikely that the data we are about to obtain after studying vapes will not provide alarming answers.
Dr Mahler explains that patients usually seek medical help only when they experience severe symptoms that lead to respiratory failure. Otherwise, smokers tend to consider coughing and getting tired more easily at a certain age as normal. Although they blame cigarettes for these symptoms, they often refrain from taking remedial measures.
The expert also regretted that in Romania, the use of electronic cigarettes is not prohibited in hospitals. Even if smoking is forbidden in a medical facility, vaping is not banned, and both patients and staff can use this type of device.
Vaping does not help quitting smoking
Dr. Mahler believes that vaping is just a marketing strategy that directs smokers to use electronic cigarettes instead of traditional ones. She has observed that many people use both types of stimulants, choosing to smoke according to their environment.
She also explained that nicotine addiction persists when switching from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes. Furthermore, socialisation, group membership, and relaxation experienced by some smokers are not reduced by vaping. These behaviours induce structural changes in our brains that a person who wants to quit smoking should reverse. These are established neural pathways that need to be eliminated.
When asked about her advice for young people who have started vaping, Dr Mahler replied that it is crucial for them to understand the consequences of vaping on the body. She emphasised that vaping can be compared to taking drugs and that the decisions they make are significant for their own lives, not for the lives of anyone else. She also added that using such a device does not make them cool in any way.