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UIS researchers warn about the use of vapes in society

A study conducted by UIS professors Jürg Niederbacher Velásquez and Álvaro Javier Idrovo Velandia, together with Jeadran Malagón Rojas and Yesith Toloza of the Environmental and Occupational Health Group of the National Institute of Health, showed that at least 59 people have died in the last 2 years due to the use of vapes and 245 associated diseases have also been generated.

The highest reports related to vaping occurred in adults over 45 years of age residing in Antioquia and Boyacá. Likewise, there was greater consumption of electronic cigarettes in the young adult population residing in Bogotá, Caldas, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca and Boyacá.

The researchers compiled microdata from 2019 from the Encuesta Nacional Consumo de Sustancias Psicoactivas and the Sistema de Información de Prestaciones de Salud (RIPS), including sex, age, location, and final condition (alive or deceased) between January 2020 and July 2022.

“The work allowed us to identify frequent users, while the MOH data files allowed us to tell the exact numbers of cases. Most of the users are men in older ages and in early adulthood, there is also a history of joint consumption of tobacco and marijuana, according to survey figures,” said Idrovo Velandia, associate professor at the UIS Department of Public Health.

This was an epidemiological study to look for results of morbidity and mortality with the use of vapers in Colombia.

“It is a relatively new issue for public health in our environment because there are people who are in favor of vaping with an idea of risk minimization, which consists in that, if I am a smoker of the common cigarette, I replace this practice with vaping to reduce the risk. This may minimize the consequences of combustion, but in vaping different substances are produced to cigarette smoke that can even cause more damage and this worries us as clinicians and even more when we handle children and adolescents, besides seeing the mortality in adults”, explained Jürg Niederbacher Velásquez, director of the Department of Pediatrics of the UIS.

The research highlights that preventive actions should start at an early age, although the adverse effects may not be observed until years later. In addition, knowledge generation among health care professionals is necessary to identify and report the disease.

In turn, having data to enable health policies to prevent use and decrease cases of vape-related disease.

“One always intends that what is done from the point of view of the mission bases of the UIS can have an impact on society and this is interesting for us because of the teamwork and support to society on public health issues. The important thing is to replicate and look for answers to this type of questions and we are convinced that it is a personal decision to consume these products, but it is necessary to alert about the consequences”, added Niederbacher Velásquez.

Finally, the experts affirm that it is likely that in the future there will be a notable increase in the number of cases if measures are not taken to reduce the use of electronic cigarettes.

You can read the study here: