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Keeping Up with the Facts Related to Lung Illnesses from E-cigarettes and Vaping

Posted by on October 4th, 2019 Posted in: Blog, NLM Resources, Public Health
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screen shot of the MedlinePlus website when a search about "vaping" is done.















My adult kids vape. Neither ever smoked cigarettes.  Until very recently, I honestly thought, “I have got better things to worry about.” Well, I was wrong.

For a health professional who educates others about substance use and addiction, I was seriously uninformed! The only bright spot in the devastating news of  vaping-related illnesses  that are all over the media, is that this enormous problem of increased tobacco and marijuana use in our younger population is getting a lot of attention. Hopefully, the wide dissemination of health-related information related to e-cigarettes and vaping will save lives.

Did you know?

  • There were 1.5 million more current youth e-cigarette users in 2018 that 2017?
  • 9 million youth were current tobacco product users in 2018
  • Use of any tobacco product grew by 38.3% among high school students (2017-2018)

Massachusetts is  2 weeks into a temporary statewide ban on the sale of all e-cigarettes and vaping products to consumers in retail establishments online, and through any other means. The ban includes all non-flavored and flavored vaping products, including mint and methol, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and any other cannabinoid. The four-month temporary ban will allow researchers, public health and medical professionals time to try to understand the link between vaping and at least 530 cases of lung injury reported across 38 states and the US Virgin Islands (according to the CDC).

In a recent hearing on Capitol Hill of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat reported “We don’t know the cause. No single product, brand, substance or additive has been linked to all cases. This investigation is ongoing and it’s very dynamic. CDC is working closely with state and local public health, with the FDA and clinical community, to get to the bottom of this.”

The purpose of this post is to share some helpful health-information resources you can use to keep yourself  informed, as well as to be a resource to your family and your community about the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping.

Even if you do not live in Massachusetts, the information provided in a recently issued guide “Vaping Public Health Emergency,” from Mass.gov (https://www.mass.gov/guides/vaping-public-health-emergency) has valuable information for consumers, as well as local boards of health and healthcare providers. There are also resources to help those wanting to quit their tobacco use. There is also a link to national information from the CDC about the recent facts related to the lung injury associated with e-cigarettes and vaping .

CDC Vitalsigns (#vitalsigns) published in February of 2019, (https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/youth-tobacco-use/pdf/vs-0211-youth-tobacco-use-H.pdf ) is a short 2-page fact sheet with eye-catching visuals that quickly explain health statistics related to the increase of tobacco use among youth and young adults.

The FDA and the CDC are working closely with state and local officials to investigate incidents of severe respiratory illnesses associated with the use of vaping products. Here is a link to recently gathered  information issued by the FDA (https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/lung-illnesses-associated-use-vaping-products).

A guide from The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids “What You Need to Know and How to Talk to Your Kids About Vaping (https://drugfree.org/article/how-to-talk-with-your-kids-about-vaping/) is chock full of information about how to have informed conversations within your family about Vaping.

If you type Vaping into the search box of MedlinePlus (https://medlineplus.gov) you will receive up-to-date and expertly written information from the National Library of Medicine, the Nemours Foundation, American College of Emergency Physicians and National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Have you wondered about the health issues related to e-cigarettes Vaping that are occurring in other countries where tobacco use is more prevalent? In the September 12, 2019 (updated on September 16) issue of Politico there is an informative article about what European countries are seeing for health issues. (https://www.politico.eu/article/us-vaping-illness-death-toll-rises-fear-reversals-anti-smoking-campaigns/).

The NER hopes the websites and resources mentioned in this post help to keep you informed as new information is discovered about the health issues related to using e-cigarettes and vaping.

Image of the author ABOUT Susan Halpin

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NNLM Region 7
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-5985

This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School.

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