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Doctors Speak Out Against Vaping Outbreak

Vaping Outbreak Statistics: Then And Now

ABC News covered the vaping outbreak in a recent article which surveyed the reaction of many doctors who responded to the vaping crisis in America. According to the CDC, there were 1,479 lung injuries cases due to e-cigarettes, or vape pens in October 2019. The findings were obtained from 49 states (all except for Alaska). Additional statistics have confirmed 33 vape-related deaths occurred in 24 states.

An additional 800 lung injuries, 12 deaths nationwide, and the reported 62% of individuals affected between 18 and 34 have shocked many. Out of these statistics, 38% are under 21 years of age. News headlines discuss the dangers of vaping, with articles debating whether the vape pens are toxic or the unregulated ingredients and chemicals in them. Insurmountable numbers of individuals who have died or have been injured caused official Surgeon General Jerome Adams  dubbed the increase of vaping incidents as “an E-cigarette epidemic.”

Vaping Risks and Attitudes in Young Adults

There is much literature and information concerning the impact of vaping on adolescents. Between 2011 to 2015, there was a spike in teen vaping cases. Vape pens, e-hookahs, tank systems and mods contain may contains THC and other harmful chemicals that put smokers at risk of lung problems. More specifically, the THC in some vaping materials put users at risk of addiction. Similar to other addictive chemicals in drugs, the feelings of pleasure smoking vape pens create can activate the brain’s reward system.

Other risks include developmental effects on the brain, “which can impact moods and attention,” combining E-cigarettes with other drugs, harmful impacts on one’s mind, and second-hand smoke. When someone becomes addicted to vaping, he or she may feel relaxed when they are smoking. Consequently, stopping suddenly can create uncomfortable feelings of cravings.

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A recently published article discusses high schoolers and juuling, or the use of Juul e-cigarettes, and the attitudes teens had surrounding vaping. Beliefs that it was cooler than cigarettes and more accepted was a common statement. Other opinions such as the flavors keeping teens attracted to vape pens, along with harmful nicotine was a factor in vape pen use. Another teen noted vaping was hard to stop because it was “so intense.” Such opinions have become a warning to people to stop vaping.

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What Doctors Are Saying

Regardless, the vaping trend has many officials and parents worried. Physicians at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin may have felt some responsibility in the growing trend, “when treating four teenagers suffering from illness.”  Doctors of patients struggling with respiratory and breathing problems noticed a pattern of teens using vape pens.

Doctors found there were additional symptoms, like shortness of breath, weight loss, coughing, all of which have been pinpointed to vape use. What was interesting in the lung illness patterns was the inclusion of THC, “with or without nicotine.”  As a result, doctors are informing people to be honest with their physicians and get treated immediately.

Communicating with one’s healthcare professional creates truth between patient and the doctor. It also gives the doctor the chance to monitor the patient’s health. Other doctors are urging people to stop vaping all together, as there are several stories of individuals being harmed by the entire vaping process. If you or someone you know struggles with vaping or struggles to stop, contact a medical professional or treatment provider to determine the best care.

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