Celebrating World Lung Day in Northern Nevada

By: Amber Emerson, MPH

September 25, 2023

Group gathers for World Lung Day

In the United States, electronic cigarettes are the most popular form of tobacco product used among high school students. Approximately 21% of Washoe County area high schoolers report current use of e-cigarettes, higher than the national average of 14% reported in the most recent national data.

While often viewed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarette use, e-cigarette use, commonly referred to as vaping, exposes users to nicotine and harmful chemicals that stunt brain development, results in lung damage and harms overall health.

In partnership with Reno area school principals and nurses, the Renown Health – UNR Med Clinical Research Office was able to provide this year’s World Lung Day Anti-Vaping Program to Galena High School, Robert McQueen High School and Sage Ridge School, reaching hundreds of high school students.

What are the health risks of vaping?

Vaping devices have been on the market for a relatively short period of time, with evidence-based health effects and complications still being discovered. Vaping poses many harmful risks to children and teens. The risks of vaping include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Impaired response to infection in the airway
  • Inflammatory problems of the airway
  • Nausea
  • Nicotine addiction
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

"The impact we have today on the air we breathe and what we inhale in our lungs will affect our quality of life, our environment and the health of others” said Dr. Farah Madhani- Lovely, Chief of Pulmonary Medicine at Renown Health and Assistant Dean of Clinical Research at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. “We should all strive to make a difference to not destroy our lungs and have cleaner air."

The consequences of vaping also extend beyond the individual and to environmental impacts. This includes the accumulation of waste from single-use products, improper disposal of battery-operated devices, toxic chemicals released into the environment and second-hand exposure.

“World Lung Day is important to us as medical students because e-cigarette use is on the rise in high school and middle school students in Nevada” states Maria Rincon Olivares, MS2, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. “Many students believe vaping can’t have any impact on their health, so it’s important to educate them and let them know what is in the e-cigarettes they are using, how it affects their lungs and their body, and the environmental impact that vaping can have overall. With outreach events like these, we hope to better educate students in our community and empower them to make healthy choices for themselves.”

Additional Renown Health Resources:

If you are a parent or student looking for more information on vaping or resources for how to quit, please visit the Nevada Tobacco Control & Smoke-free Coalition and Parents Against Vaping.

At the Renown Health – UNR Med Clinical Research Office, our goal is to make it easy for patients to access clinical research as a care opportunity where patients can access a variety of standard care treatment options for their health condition or choose to participate in a clinical trial. Please contact the Renown Research Office at Renown-CRD@renown.org or 775-982-3646 or the UNR Med Office of Clinical Research at omr@med.unr.edu or 775-682-9838 for questions or more information. 

    • Previous Article

    Head Injuries, Sprains and Broken Bones

    Participating in sports and physical activities is enjoyable and beneficial for our health. However, the risk of injuries comes with the fun and excitement of sports. Sports-related injuries, including sprains, traumatic brain injuries and...
    Read More
    • Next Article

    3 Ways to Foster the Wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ Kids and Teens

    © alessandrobiascioli via Canva.com Ensuring a healthier and more inclusive future for LGBTQIA+ children and teens is of utmost importance to health systems in our community, especially Renown. Supporting the physical and mental health of...
    Read More