By Marty Gordon
Vaping is on the rise among teenagers. In 2018, 37 percent of 12th graders reported vaping, compared to 28 percent in 2017. Medical professionals expect the numbers from 2019 will also be up.
Parents of teenagers need to know the truth about vaping and just how destructive it is to the health of their children. Dr. Pam Ray from the Virginia Department of Health’s New River Valley Health District will present a seminar on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Christiansburg Recreation Center called “The Truth Behind the Haze: Vaping and Juuling.” Dr. Ray will present facts about the increased usage and an update on the current research that associates vaping with lung disease.
The information session is free and will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. with pre-registered highly recommended by calling 540.382.2349.
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The substances that account for the increase in vaping and inhaling among teens include nicotine, flavored liquids, marijuana and hash oil.
Electronic nicotine delivery systems have several names including: e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vapes, vape pens, and mods and tanks. The most publicized vaping brand is JUUL, thus creating a new term called “Juuling” that is commonly used by teenagers.
Dr. Ray’s seminar will feature a display of different electronic devices and the paraphernalia used in vaping.
The interactive session is appropriate for all ages. Parents and kids are encouraged to attend.
E-cigarettes entered the market in 2007, and some devices resemble pipes, pens and even USB flash drives. JUUL jumped into the public sector in 2015 and established itself as the top company.
According to information provided by the Virginia Department of Health, many states are investigating cases of patients with severe lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use or “vaping.” E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs. The liquid can contain nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid oils, and other substances and additives.
As of September 30, 2019, there have been 31 lung injury cases, and a death, in Virginia. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 805 cases from 46 states and one U.S. territory, as of September 24, 2019. Twelve deaths have been confirmed in 10 states.
The (VDH) confirmed that a Virginia resident died in the outbreak of severe lung injury associated with e-cigarette use or “vaping” on September 26, 2019.
“I am deeply saddened to announce the first death of a Virginia resident related to this outbreak. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver. The decedent was an adult from the southwest region. To protect patient confidentiality, VDH will not release additional details.
VDH recommends that people who are concerned about lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use or vaping refrain from using e-cigarette products.
Symptoms of this illness include a gradual onset of coughing, and shortness of breath or fatigue that gets worse over a period of days or weeks until the patient has to be admitted to the hospital for treatment. Some patients have reported vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue. Anyone with these symptoms who has a history of e-cigarette use should seek medical attention immediately.
The federal government has begun enforcing restrictions on flavored electronic cigarettes aimed at curbing underaged vaping, saying flavors like lemonade, blueberry ice and tropical mango attract younger users.
More information about vaping and the problems associated with it is available at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/.