Vaping scare: “Portugal has cases every bit as serious as the United States”
With new data on the potentially deadly consequences of vaping turning people back into ‘old fashioned’ smokers, scientists in Portugal admit the ‘epidemic’ is already being felt on national territory.
What they can’t be sure of is whether the cases are all down to vaping as there hasn’t been enough research.
Explains Cristina Bárbara of the national programme on respiratory diseases, patients are never asked ‘how’ they consume their tobacco/ drugs.
“Maybe with this alert and with doctors and smokers aware” there will come the impetus for specialist studies on the results of long-term vaping, she said.
Certainly in the U.S. the practice has been linked to six deaths and hundreds of illnesses.
Almost 400 people – many of them teenagers – have been hospitalised as a result of vaping with beguiling flavours.
The symptoms start with a form of gastroenteritis, and then move to the lungs with fever, coughing, chest pains and breathlessness.
But where Portugal’s horrors differ from the United States is that vaping here is nothing like as accessible to the young (E-cigarettes can only be purchased if you are over 18); there are stricter laws surrounding smoking in public, and a moratorium on advertising.
Say scientists, all these ‘differences’ may mean that vaping casualties are at least not the very young.