Doctor presents at local schools to warn students on dangers of vaping

Loma Linda University Health physician Laren Tan, MD, this week begins a regional tour to speak with junior high and high school students about the dangers of vaping. The issue has stepped into the national spotlight as nine deaths have been confirmed in connection with the use of electronic cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, more than 500 cases of a new vaping-related disease have been reported since April. Tan is one of many doctors concerned with the health risks of vaping. The founder and director of the Loma Linda University Health Comprehensive Program for Obstructive Airway Diseases treats the most severe pulmonary cases — everything from non-reversible asthma to dangerous high-blood pressure of the lungs to emphysema. Vaping, he says, has served as a gateway for teens to smoke rather than a tool for adults to quit. Starting with a school in Riverside, Tan spoke to students about the dangers of both the substance being vaped and the lesser-known hazards of the activity. Research has shown that the heated coils are releasing metal particles — such as lead…

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