Dr. Nathan Tobey, a pulmonologist at MANA Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic, recently partnered with the American Heart Association to educate the community about the dangers of vaping and the extreme cases of lung disease the pulmonologists have seen in Northwest Arkansas in the last year on a segment on KFSM Channel 5 News.
Some view vaping as a safer alternative to cigarettes, but there is no safe way to smoke or use tobacco products. Vaping and smoking damage your lungs, and all forms of tobacco are addictive and increase your risk for heart disease and cancers.
The health effects of vaping are not entirely clear yet; there is still much that we do not know about e-cigarettes and vaping products. We do know that there’s an outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries. E-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, or EVALI, is a growing problem, especially among young adults and adolescents.
“Trying to keep up with the vaping epidemic has been extremely difficult. Two years ago, one in 10 students reported they were vaping and two years later in 2019 it’s one in four,” said Serena Munns, Executive Director of the American Heart Association for Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.
Vaping-related lung disease is a problem
The most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state report that there have been 2,807 hospitalizations due to vaping-related lung injuries, and 68 confirmed deaths from EVALI.
Most patients who suffer vaping lung disease use THC products. However, non-THC products have not been ruled out as a cause for EVALI.
- 82% of patients hospitalized due to EVALI reported using THC products; 33% of those patients reported exclusive use of THC products.
- 57% of patients reported using nicotine-containing products; 14% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
People should know the health risks associated with vaping, and parents should educate their children about these risks. Talk to your doctor for help quitting smoking or vaping.