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The Facts About Vaping

The Facts About Vaping

Vaping is the use of e-cigarettes to inhale an aerosolized liquid into your lungs. The vaping liquid may contain nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis or marijuana), hemp oil, and other flavorings and additives. The nicotine in vaping products is highly addictive and the extra strength cartridges contain more nicotine than smoking tobacco products. For example, the amount of nicotine in one JUUL pod is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes.

Nicotine can raise your heart rate and blood pressure putting you at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. THC and hemp oil can also increase heart rate and blood pressure, cause intense nausea, vomiting and breathing difficulties. Additionally, these chemicals can lower the learning ability of teenagers, cause mental illness, and lead to child development problems during and after pregnancy.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified vitamin E acetate, used as a thickening agent in THC-containing vaping products, as a chemical of concern among patients with “vaping product use associated lung injury” (EVALI). So far there have been over 2,000 reported EVALI cases (95% were hospitalized due to the severity of illness) and 47 deaths.

Vaping products containing THC should not be used by anyone. Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start vaping. Adults who use vaping to quit smoking should not go back to smoking and instead utilize other U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved nicotine replacement strategies. Those currently vaping should strongly consider stopping. If they choose to continue vaping, they should closely monitor themselves for cough, shortness of breath and chest pain and see a healthcare provider immediately if they develop any of these symptoms.

The bottom line: vaping products should never be used by youths, young adults or pregnant women.

Dr. Michael Nolledo sees Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine patients in his practice, which is with the Third Floor Clinics at Campbell County Memorial Hospital, 501 S. Burma Avenue, Third Floor South. Appointments available by calling 307.688.3615. Learn more at www.cchwyo.org/pulmonary.