A new risk group of young vapers – COPD cannot be cured

A new risk group for COPD is young vapers. The disease develops slowly over many years and is more common in the elderly. COPD refers to chronic and progressive narrowing of the airways.

COPD is one of the most common and, on the other hand, easily preventable respiratory diseases in the world. Its new risk group is young vapers.

– The prevalence of COPD in the Finnish population is less than three percent. Many suffer without knowing it, says medical physiologist and isotope medicine expert, L.D. Maria Jusela.

COPD is one of the most preventable common diseases. According to Jusela, who serves as president of DAT, Doctors Network Against Tobacco, apart from her breadwinner, it is the first and foremost disease of smokers.

– Although smoking has declined over the last 30 years, other means have taken their place, whereby the airways are voluntarily exposed to vapor. In addition to highly toxic and highly addictive nicotine, most e-cigarette products favored by young people contain a number of chemical compounds that have been proven to be harmful to health.


Inhalable poisons

According to a study conducted by Yle last fall, in every province of Ostrobothnia, the use of e-cigarettes has become more common among young people, even among 4th-5th graders.

Yle studied e-cigarettes confiscated from young people in a laboratory at the University of Eastern Finland. Volatile toxic glycerol and heavy metals such as copper, zinc and high levels of lead were found in the samples.

According to Maria Jusela, the effects of nicotine and other poisons are more significant and harmful in a developing young organism than in an adult. Few people who want to experiment think about nicotine's addictive or carcinogenic potential.

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In a young organism, the effects of poisons are very harmful. Stock

According to Jusela, nicotine in the bloodstream affects the body from head to toe and impairs the functioning of the entire body.

– Since e-cigarettes are still a relatively new phenomenon, long-term evidence of their harms has yet to be accumulated. However, it cannot be denied that tobacco and nicotine products are harmful and cause many problems for young and old users. Young people need to be actively informed about the dangers of vaping before permanent damage is done to the lungs of the next generation.

The explosive increase in the use of e-cigarettes led to the so-called e-cigarette epidemic in the United States in 2019, when hundreds of users died due to short-term vaping. It examines the health risks associated with e-cigarettes and prepares legislation regarding their marketing and use.

– Jusela says doctors are being made aware of serious immediate pulmonary reactions to vaping to avoid similar deaths in other parts of the world.

Lung function is tested by spirometry. Stock

Chronic cough and bad shortness of breath

In population studies, lung function declines even after a few years of smoking, and susceptibility to bronchoconstriction increases with age. As exposure continues, long-term chronic inflammation develops in the airways and lungs, leading to COPD.

This disease manifests as chronic bronchitis. There is usually permanent narrowing of the airways and permanent tissue destruction in the lungs. A person with COPD suffers from a runny cough and breathing difficulties, which worsen especially during infections.

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– A common symptom of patients who come to my office is increased shortness of breath. They have noticed that they choke on activities that a boy of the same age would not even be able to breathe, explains Jusela, who runs a general practitioner office in Tabiola Lucaricasques Awa, Espoo.

– Patients with COPD also get tired more easily than before. They say they cough and get cold every day.

According to Maria Jusela, COPD is an underdiagnosed disease. Many people are suffering without knowing this. Little giant

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  • The most common cause of COPD is smoking.
  • Symptoms include cough, phlegm, shortness of breath and recurrent chronic bronchitis.
  • The disease is diagnosed by measuring lung function (spirometry).
  • Smoking cessation and exercise are an important part of treatment. Drug therapy reduces symptoms such as shortness of breath during physical exertion and prevents exacerbations.
  • Exacerbations are treated with antibiotic or cortisone tablets or both.
  • 3-4 out of every hundred Finns have COPD, and 20-30 percent of smokers get COPD. As the population ages, there is more COPD.
  • A new study According to
  • The disease has three components: chronic (long-term) bronchitis, bronchiectasis, and emphysema.
  • COPD is one of the most common causes of death worldwide.

Source: Health Library

There is no curative treatment

According to Maria Jusela, early detection of COPD is crucial in preserving the health and work capacity of the individual and the population.

– If the patient has a history of smoking and is over 40 years of age, his lung function should also be evaluated with spirometry and other diagnostic tests and health checks and occupational health doctor visits. Smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke are risk factors for lung cancer.

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The early symptoms of asthma and COPD are very similar in adults. The difference between the diseases can be seen in the reception of tests and the severity of treatment: in COPD the damaged airways and lung tissue cannot be healed by inhaled drugs. However, drug therapy can reduce daily symptoms, such as shortness of breath during exertion, and prevent exacerbations and periods of hospitalization.

– Exercise and smoking cessation slow the progression of COPD and their impact on quality of life is significant. However, COPD is a progressive disease for which there is unfortunately no curative treatment. The best way to avoid getting sick is to live a smoke-free and nicotine-free life, Jusela concludes.

Expert Maria Jusela says young people need to be seriously informed about the dangers of vaping before permanent damage is done to the lungs of the next generation. Alexander U

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