You may have seen an increase of vaping stories in the news recently. We are providing the following information so you may talk to your children on the dangers of vaping.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- As of September 12, 2019, 33 state health department have reported more than 450 cases of severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes.
- Six deaths have been confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon and Kansas.
- The median age of those affected is 19, making this a teen and adult problem.
- More cases are expected as CDC and FDA advisories are encouraging the medical community to report suspected cases.
Of the 64 cases identified with patient information: 53 are in Wisconsin and Illinois, 6 are in Utah, and 5 are in North Carolina.
WHAT DO ALL THESE CASES HAVE IN COMMON?
- All confirmed cases have a reported history of e-cigarette product use.
- Most, but not all, of the cases reported e-cigarette products containing marijuana cannabinoids from THC; some cases contained nicotine alone, while others reported using both (nicotine and cannabinoids).
- No evidence points to an infectious cause of severe lung disease.
- The cause of the severe lung disease is unknown. No single e-cigarette product type, nicotine liquid, cannabinoid, or other additive is conclusively linked to the disease.
WHAT CAN PARENTS AND YOUTH DO?
- STOP/DO NOT USE E-CIGARETTE/ JUUL PRODUCTS UNTIL THE EPIDEMIC IS OVER
- It’s important to communicate to your children about the dangers of vaping-associated lung injury. Visit these websites for tips on starting the conversation.
- If you use e-cigarette products or your child vapes, and you experience or notice any of the symptoms described above, seek medical care immediately.
- Regardless of the ongoing investigation:
- Youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products; Visit the CATCH Global Foundation to learn about CATCH My Breath, a Free 5th-12th grade E-cigarette prevention program.
- Women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
- If you do use e-cigarette products, you should not buy street products (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
- You should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
- Adult smokers who are attempting to quit tobacco products should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications; see CDC: Ways to Quit Smoking. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor or other medical provider.
Thank you for having a conversation with your child(ren) on this important topic. Please let a school counselor know if you have additional questions.