The Vaping Epidemic
Lately, it’s been difficult to watch the news or scroll through Facebook without seeing an alarming new story about someone who was affected by a vaping-related lung illness. In October 2019, Delaware announced its first death from a vaping-related lung illness (Delaware Division of Public Health). This makes Delaware one of 46 states to have reported illnesses associated with the use of e-cigarette products.
With all the news surrounding this issue, it can be difficult to determine what you really need to know. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2019), to avoid this illness, people should not:
- Use e-cigarette or vaping products that contain THC.
- Buy any type of e-cigarette or vaping product off the street, particularly those containing THC.
- Modify or add any substance to e-cigarette or vaping products that is not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments.
Since the specific cause(s) of these illnesses is not yet known, it’s best to avoid using all e-cigarette and vaping products. If you currently do not use vaping products, it’s best to not start — especially in light of this outbreak. If you need help quitting, contact the Delaware Quitline for support. Getting help can triple your chance of success.
These products are not only unsafe for adults, but are also particularly harmful for youth and young adults under the age of 21.
Patients included within this investigation reported the following symptoms (CDC):
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea
- Fever, chills, or weight loss
For more information, read the article DE Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping or contact your health care provider.