We get together to commemorate World Lung Day on September 25. This day is devoted to educating people about the value of lung health and promoting the idea that everyone deserves access to fresh air. Our lungs help us stay alive and develop, by inhaling and processing the air and realising carbon dioxide. But our ability to inhale clean air and take good care of our lungs is under attack more and more.
Our lungs are the unnoticed heroes of our bodies, working silently to keep us alive with each breath we take. However, when we add dangerous elements into this sensitive system, such as smoke and vapour, we jeopardise its crucial function. Both smoking and vaping are detrimental to our lung health and the damage caused by them is often irreversible. Over time it can progress to severe lung diseases that can limit the ability to breathe, leading to a lower quality of life in some cases or even in extreme cases premature death.
When you smoke, you inhale burning tobacco, which is releasing a mix of toxic chemicals into your lungs. These harmful substances are damaging and irritating your lung tissues, additionally increasing the risk of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory disorders. The presence of nicotine in cigarettes, the addictive compound that keeps users hooked, not only perpetuates smoking over time, but also exposes the lungs to more toxins over time.
While vaping is often seen as a “safer” alternative to smoking, it’s far from harmless. Vaping liquids and e-cigarettes contain a cocktail of chemicals, including nicotine, which is highly addictive, and various flavouring agents. When heated and inhaled, these chemicals can damage the delicate tissues of the lungs and lead to respiratory problems. Additionally, the long-term effects of inhaling the aerosolized particles from e-cigarettes are still being studied, but early evidence suggests potential harm to lung health. There have been numerous cases of severe lung injuries linked to vaping, often referred to as EVALI (E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury). These cases have resulted in hospitalizations and, in some instances, even death.
Especially among young adults, there is mounting evidence that e-cigarettes are an introduction to conventional smoking. E-cigarette users could be more prone to switch to smoking cigarettes later on, which have been linked to lung cancer and an array of additional medical conditions.
Let’s pause to consider the value of lung health and the dangers associated with smoking and vaping on this World Lung Day. We must inform ourselves and our communities of the risks associated with smoking and vaping, particularly for our younger generations. We must promote laws and rules that limit the promotion and availability of such items to children. Let’s cooperate to protect our lungs and make sure that everyone has access to clean, healthy air in the years to come. World Lung Day serves as a reminder that our lungs are valuable as well as that, it is our duty to protect them from any form of smoking and vaping for ourselves and all future generations.
Let’s make a commitment to placing a high priority on lung health this World Lung Day and inspire others to do the same. On this day, we appreciate the gift of breath and acknowledge the vulnerability of our lungs. We can guarantee a future where everyone has the chance to breathe freely and experience a better, more satisfying life by banding together, bringing awareness to the issue, and taking effective action. Become a part of the lung health campaign. We can change things together, one breath at a time.
With the honour of this World Lung Day anniversary, the European Network For Smoking and Tabacco Prevention and its youth group have put together a fact sheet that is designed to increase awareness regarding the risks associated with vaping, particularly among youth, who can be easily manipulated by the industry through false social media and advertising campaigns. Through the fact sheet, we hope to bust existing myths, answer frequent concerns about vaping and e-cigarettes, and teach readers about the hazards associated with beginning to vape.
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