A south African top pulmonologist has augured the government to consider to regulate vaping in the country. Professor Richard Van Zyl-Smit recently conducted a study to establish vaping trends among the youth. Using grade 12 pupils the results of the study were alarming. According to the study one in every four grade, 12 pupils was using vaping products. This he says is a dangerous trend as vaping products have been shown to hurt users. He further believes the impact of early uptake of this product is likely to have dangerous consequences.
While speaking to John Maytham on CapeTalk, Professor Van Zyl-Smit revealed that his study also found that three in every 10 pupils vaped within the first hour of waking up and about three-quarters used their favourite products every day. This is a dangerous trend as not only are more and more grade 12 pupils using vaping products but their use of these products is too intense. This is a sign of addiction and could mean more problems in future for the pupils using these products. Many other studies conducted in the US and EU have shown that vaping products have the same harmful impacts as smoking cigarettes. This means that vaping more intensely as these pupils do could have more pronounced impacts.
Professor Van Zyl-Smit further revealed that more high school students are now vaping than they ever smoked cigarettes. He says this is another danger sign that the government has to address quickly. While vaping products were designed to help smoking addicts quit, they are becoming the creator of the problem. The more young people use vaping products the more they become addicted to nicotine. This makes it easy for them to graduate to cigarette smoking the vary problem that the vaping products were designed to solve. This is why the government need to take urgent measures to protect the younger generations from these harmful products.
When seeking to find out the cause of the growing vaping problem, the study revealed that stress is a major contributor to vaping in South African schools. According to professor van Zyl-Smit, many pupils are under immense pressure to try vaping in schools. This in itself is a major contributor to the growing vaping problem in the country. However, there could be many other stress triggers that are sending many young south Africans to begin vaping in their teens. This is an area that needs to be further investigated to help curb the vaping problem in the country.
Professor Van Zyl-Smit believes that the vaping problem among school-going youths needs to be resolved as quickly as possible. This is because there is empirical evidence that links nicotine addiction to learning difficulties. According to Professor Van Zyl-Smit the intensity of vaping among high school kids that his study revealed shows that many of the students are addicted to nicotine. This he says is a dangerous thing to happen as many past studies have shown that nicotine hurts learning development. The professor thus calls on the government to take urgent intervention measures to help South African youth to quit vaping.