LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - We are so lucky to have a School of Medicine in Lubbock, not just to study the practice of medicine but also to study the delivery of drugs. Dr. Thomas Tenner, Ph.D., is one of those drug scientists who is studying vaping and the many chemicals it delivers to those who use e-cigarettes.
As vaping becomes more and more popular among teens even in middle school, Dr. Tenner says studies continue here at Texas Tech to learn more about the dangers.
He says we already know a lot about the dangers of cigarettes but we don’t know enough yet about the dangers of vaping. We do know that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive stimulant which can affect the heart. He adds this is a huge concern over nicotine, “It’s not regulated. They can put as much nicotine in the fluid as they wish. There’s no control on the chemicals. You know vaping isn’t really vaping. Vaping implies there’s water in it and there’s no water in there.” He says it is known that companies are ramping up the nicotine in vaping liquids to give people a bigger kick.
There has been a lot of news coverage about the FDA considering banning the flavors that come with e-cigarettes because that is what attracts kids to vaping. Dr. Tenner agrees, “The flavor is the tease. The nicotine is the hook. After a time, you become dependent on that nicotine and that will keep you coming back. It’s the same principal with cigarettes.”
And Dr. Tenner gives this chilling analogy, “Nobody in their right mind would put their head over a chimney and take a deep breath of factory smoke. You do that because the nicotine makes you feel better and then there is the addiction.”
Dr. Tenner adds that kids can vape marijuana too and you would never know it because even though marijuana has a distinctive odor when it’s smoked, it has no odor when it is vaped.
Dr. Thomas Tenner is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the Texas Tech School of Medicine.