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Recently vaping emerged as an alternative safe way of smoking but as it turns out it could result in a mental fog. This is according to two studies by the University of Rochester Medical Centre.

New studies link vaping to lack of concentration in adults and kids

The new studies indicate that children and adults who vape are likely to experience difficulties in making decisions, remembering, and concentrating compared to non-smoking, non-vaping peers. Most importantly kids that start vaping before 14 years have a higher chance of experiencing mental fog.

Whereas most studies have established a link between vaping and mental impairment in animals, researchers at URMC were the first to draw the connection in humans. Dongmei Li, an associate professor in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University led the team which mined data from two national surveys. Li who is the study author said that the studies add to the growing evidence that vaping isn’t a safe tobacco smoking alternative.

The team published the studies in the Plos One and Tobacco Induced Diseases journals. Around 18,000 middle and high-school going students’ responses to the National Youth Tobacco Survey were analyzed alongside over 886,000 responses from the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System adult survey. In both studies, participants were asked the same questions about vaping and smoking habits and issues to do with mental function, attention, and memory.

Vaping leads to mental function challenges

Interestingly both studies demonstrated that individuals that vape and smoke irrespective of ages are more likely to experience mental function difficulties. On top of that those that only smoke or only vape experienced mental fog in equal measures compared to non-smokers or non-vapers. Also, the youth study established that students that began vaping as early as eight years had challenges in concentrating, making decisions, and remembering compared to those that began vaping at 14 years.

Li said that the recent increase in teen vaping is a big concern that needs earlier intervention. He warns that prevention programs that usually begin in middle or high school could be late.