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Indy pulmonologist explains dangers of vaping

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — March is Vaping Awareness Month, and one Indy area pulmonologist says it’s important to know the risks before you try it.

Dr. Shahryar Ahmad, a pulmonologist with Ascension St. Vincent, stopped by Daybreak to speak on the health concerns of vaping, its growing popularity, and its effects on youth.

Dr. Ahmad says that the growth of vape use over the last decade has caused a health crisis, and though rates of children and teens smoking cigarettes have decreased, rates of vaping in the same demographic have increased.

“There are various health concerns that involve nicotine use and the smoke that comes from burning the e-liquids, as well. We’re seeing an increase in respiratory illnesses. ” Also, people with asthma are developing new symptoms, ” Dr. Ahmed said.

Outside of the health risk increases, Dr. Ahmad warns of the performance decreases in students.

“Kids who are using these products are having poor academic performance, as well as athletic performance. They are having more issues in terms of anxiety, agitation, and changes in their behavior,” Dr. Ahmad said.

Dr. Ahmad says there are several myths surrounding vaping.

The most important thing Dr. Ahmad advises parents who might be concerned that their child is vaping is to educate themselves about vaping.

“We are dealing with devices that are very discreet, they look like pens are USBs. If they find things like these, parents should be on the lookout. They should look out for changes in behavior, for changes in school performance, if you’re smelling sweet odors in the home–those are some signs parents should look for,” Dr. Ahmad said.