Rising Danger of E-cigarettes in Brazil: Evali and Health Implications

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The high number of smokers in Campo Grande, Brazil, has raised concerns as experts warn of a new lung disease caused by e-cigarettes.

According to recent reports from Brazilian news outlet Correiodoestado, data collected through telephone surveys (Vigitel 0) for monitoring risk and protective factors reveals a high number of smokers in the city. Among them, 6.9% are male and 8.6% are female.

As more and more individuals adopt the use of e-cigarettes, medical experts are issuing warnings about a newly emerging lung illness called Evali, specifically caused by the use of e-cigarettes.

Healthcare professionals are engaged in a battle against e-cigarettes, according to respiratory disease expert Henrique Ferreira de Brito, as these devices are deemed more harmful than conventional cigarettes.

Although e-cigarette devices, also known as Electronic Smoking Devices (DEF), do not burn tobacco, their nicotine content is higher than that of “regular” cigarettes, resulting in greater and faster dependency.

Doctors say that e-cigarettes have a higher dependency, contain higher levels of nicotine, and can reach the human brain faster, resulting in a dependency on nicotine additives. Therefore, in addition to the inherent dangers of nicotine itself, e-cigarettes also contain other substances different from traditional cigarettes that pose serious health risks.

The doctor further explained that these substances are associated with various diseases, including heart disease, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Evali.

The São Paulo Research Foundation (Fapesp) has published an article revealing a brief history of this new type of lung disease, which was first discovered in the United States in 2009.

At the time, many young people in their twenties, some of whom had never suffered from respiratory diseases before, were experiencing symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing, and chest pains in American hospitals. Additionally, many individuals also reported abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and weight loss.

According to this historical record, all patients have one common factor: they are all users of e-cigarettes. In Brazil, there have been recorded cases of Evali, some of which also exhibit typical symptoms of viral pneumonia caused by Covid-19.

A recent study conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) revealed that the teenage e-cigarette usage rate in Campo Grande is the highest in Brazil, with 0.9% of ninth-grade students having already tried e-cigarettes.

Doctors have warned that the sale, import, distribution, and marketing of e-cigarettes are prohibited under Resolution of the Collegiate Board. Although the use itself is not banned, currently all buying and selling is prohibited. Young people are particularly susceptible to the allure of e-cigarettes and may mistakenly believe they are harmless. However, this is a lie, as e-cigarettes, even those without nicotine, pose significant health risks.

Doctors say that factors contributing to the difficulties of quitting smoking include the release of dopamine when nicotine is consumed. Users constantly crave that feeling, which leads to an escalation in both frequency and quantity of smoking. However, in addition to chemical dependence, there are also psychological and physiological dependencies.

In order to quit smoking, doctors recommend that besides the individual’s determination, they should also have a medical team consisting of a nutritionist, a psychologist, and a pulmonary specialist to accompany them. These professionals will assist in changing habits and utilize medications that aid in improving the chemical dependency sensation.

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