It seems that the problems brought about by the use of e-cigarettes on the lungs, a sort of “scandal” that basically began in 2019, had already been known for at least seven years. This is the result of research carried out by a team of researchers from the University of California at Riverside who, using computer research tools on the Internet, were able to find various discussions on a web forum in which the same users reported the negative effects on their health.
This study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, thus shows that these health problems, i.e. those related to e-cigarettes, already existed before 2019, when the media scandal broke out. Recently, some results have been obtained thanks to research by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which linked vitamin E acetate, present in some liquids for e-cigarettes, particularly those based on marijuana substances, to these lung problems.
“Our data, which show many of the symptoms that characterize current patients have been reported online for at least seven years, suggests that cases similar to the current VAPI outbreak have existed previously and have not been reported or simply were not related to vapor,” says Prue Talbot, professor of cell biology and lead author of the study.
The researchers analyzed a large online discussion forum focused on e-cigarettes and automatically created their own web crawler written in Java to analyze the text and browse more than 41,000 posts.
According to My Hua, a student in Talbot’s laboratory and the first author of the study, this data underlines that the use of e-cigarettes actually brings health problems and that this “epidemic,” which is now very often talked about, “will continue to grow.”
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