A recent article published in a media outlet in Australia demonstrates -once again- how wrong information on vaping spread unjustified panic.
The article, Sydney teen issues vape warning after being hospitalized, supported the argument that there is a correlation between vaping and pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the lung).
According to the journalist Hannah Paine, when a teenager who used to vape went to hospital for medical condition with her lungs “doctors attributed Ms Hajjar’s pleurisy diagnosis to her vaping habit, warning the teen she would need to stop vaping would end up needing to get my lungs drained”.
The journalist explained how Ms Hajjar’s experience is not uncommon among the teenager who uses electronic cigarettes, and how vaping is causing an epidemy among the youngest – citing a survey of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation that went back to 2016.
In response – a comment by Dr Colin Mendelsohn, Founding Chairman, Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and member of the expert advisory committee for the RACGP national smoking cessation guidelines- tried to shed a light, according to the scientist’s point of view.
“Vaping nicotine is not recognised as a cause of pleurisy. There are millions of e-cigarette users globally and there have been no reported cases of pleurisy linked to vaping nicotine,” Dr Mendelsohn wrote. “It is a sensational, emotive reporting that framed the experience in a high alarmist way to elicit an emotive response from the reader.”
“There is nothing in the literature that I am aware of that would implicate vaping nicotine with pleurisy or any plausible mechanism! It is highly unlikely that vaping played any role in this case” said Dr Jaymin Morjaria, a respiratory physician from Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in the UK.
“Vaping may cause transient airway irritation in users and inflammation in experimental lung models, but there is no evidence that it causes pleurisy,” stated Prof. Riccardo Polosa, the most prominent scientist in the field of electronic cigarettes.
As explained in the article, pleurisy is very common even among healthy young people and is caused by many factors including viruses and bacteria as well as previous medical conditions.
Continuing to spread fear and unjustified hysteria will only harm the many adults who have the chance to quit smoking thanks to less risky alternative products such as e-cigarettes.
It is time to end misinformation and false statement on e-cigarette once and for all.