Emma’s Health Talk: E-Cigarettes

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Their Affect on Developing Brains

picture of Emma Ware, standing outside of a building
Emma Ware helps people navigate through the complex world of food with her common sense and results-oriented way of coaching. — Photo Meganpixels Parker

by Emma Ware

We have said goodbye to summer, just removed the Halloween decorations, and are beginning to think about my favorite time of the year, Thanksgiving. Despite the hurri­canes and floods, we can all find something to be thankful for. For me, it’s family. 

Those of us who parent or caretake for younger ones can relate to wanting to protect and provide for our families; we clothe, feed and care for them in numerous ways. We want our children to make safe and wholesome decisions as they grow into adulthood. And as a result, we try to steer them away from habits that have consequences that could result in unwanted, and sometimes, irrevers­ible harm. 

Thus my topic this month is e-cig­arettes. I’ll be quoting from a paper written for South Carolina Woman Magazine by Dr. Shawna Collins DMD. After reading this for myself I couldn’t stop thinking about the many young people who have already either started using these products or are thinking about trying them for the first time. 

According to the article, beginning in 2015, 3 million middle and high school students including 1 out of 6 high school students used e-cigarettes. These devices usually deliver nicotine, flavorings and other additives to users via an inhaled aerosol. But these devices deliver more than just nicotine, as the aerosol is not harmless. 

The U.S. Surgeon General conclud­ed that e-cigarettes can expose users to several potentially harmful chemicals in addition to nicotine. Because the brain is still developing in youth and young adults up until the age of twenty-five, studies show that nicotine is addictive and can harm the developing brain. 

Nicotine can make it harder to concentrate, learn, or control impulses and even train the brain to be more easily addicted to oth­er drugs like meth and cocaine. 

There is so much more written in this article that I’m not able to include in mine this month. I suggest getting a copy of the entire article “E-Cigarettes: Are They Harmless?” in the September issue on­line at www.scwomanmagazine.com

A partial list of harmful chemicals include propylene glycol and glycerin, acrolein, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and diace­tyl— the latter ingredient believed to be the probable cause of irreversible lung disease called popcorn lung.

Being a wife, mom and practitioner, I’m thankful for my family and the many clients I am blessed to serve. I feel so strongly about educating ourselves and our families in order to prevent harm­ful addictions and this one tops my list. 

If you have any questions or want more information please call my office at 843 997-7037 or stop by at 2798 D Howard Avenue in Market Common. As with all my topics I like to conclude with saying always check with your doctor when making any changes or decisions regard­ing your health.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,

-Emma

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