As of this week, the CDC has informed us that over 450 people have pulmonary illnesses that are linked to e-cigarette use including some in West Virginia. They are also asking practitioners to help them find out if there are other illnesses yet to be identified that are linked to vaping. Five people have been confirmed dead.
These devices are relatively new to the market. Though there have been patents going back to the 1930s for vaporizers for this purpose, the appearance of people sucking on a device that looks like a USB drive and blowing small puffs of the almost odorless vapor is relatively new. Since former United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop warned the United States of the dangers of smoking cigarettes they’ve become less cool. Still, close to one in four West Virginians is a daily tobacco user. Companies like Altria are shifting their supply by buying the technology to create e-cigarettes and are advertising them as the new cool and less harmless that the cigarettes they have sold for years. The CDCs release tells us otherwise.
In my AHP interview with Dr. Sherri Young, a public health physician and author, we discussed the dangers of vaping and how we truly do not know what happens to those who do. States are now outlawing the flavors like cotton candy and bubble gum that most in public health believe to be marketed to minors. Right now, we don’t know what happens if you’re a life long vaper. Dr. Young says parents should be talking with their children.
You can see the CDC’s information here: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html. Look for my interview, available on September 9th, with Dr. Young on the Appalachian Health Podcast available wherever you get great content or at dannyscalise.com.