TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Every year, Sept. 25 is recognized as World Lung Day. It’s a time to raise awareness about respiratory health and what it takes to have healthy lungs.
“Access to screening and prevention and adequate treatment,” said Dr. Suman Sinha, chief of pulmonary medicine at CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic.
On Monday, prevention means understanding the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes, especially for teenagers.
“It’s a gateway to nicotine use, so if you start early the likelihood of vaping, nicotine, and smoking lifelong is much more serious,” said Sinha.
Daria Gauna, a teen ambassador with “Say What,” a Texas school safety center program, also hopes to educate people her age about the dangers of adopting bad habits from a young age. “At times they just, don’t stop and they’re just addicted to the product,” said Gauna.
High school students notice that their peers are exposed to vaping and that maybe leading them to think it’s normal. “Kids, they’ve grown up around it. It’s family pressure, its peer pressure, they see their moms, their dads, their grandparents,” said Zoey Pippin, teen ambassador.
According to Texas Health and Human Services, an estimated 5,700 young people start vaping every day.
“My school is doing the best they can by implying these new rules, and vape detectors all over the school,” said Gauna.
Sinha hopes that sooner, rather than later, people realize the serious short-term and lasting dangers of vaping.
“There are short-term consequences that could be very dangerous for your lungs. There are four known diseases that have been identified from vaping,” said Sinha.
He’s also advising people to be aware of environmental factors like dust, or wood and metal filings.
“Environmental mold, animal dander, those things can be very detrimental to people with underlying lung diseases,” said Sinha.
Lung health impacts the entire body’s well-being, prevention and awareness are key.