All e-cigarettes contain a high level of nicotine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nicotine is highly addictive and can harm brain development, which occurs through the early to mid-20s. Until age 25, nicotine can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. In addition, nicotine use in adolescence may increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.1
The CDC has released interim recommendations for healthcare providers, health departments, and the public to refrain from using e-cigarettes and vaping products. Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products.3
According to preliminary results from the CDC’s annual Youth Tobacco Survey, 27.5% of high school students reported using an e-cigarette product in the past 30 days, an increase from 20.8% in 2018. Fruit, menthol, and mint flavors were used by 60% of teens who vaped.4
The CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state and local health departments, along with other clinical and public health partners to investigate a multistate outbreak of lung disease associated with e-cigarette use or vaping.
Over 380 cases of lung illnesses have been reported in 36 states and 1 U.S. territory. Health officials have confirmed six deaths in connection to vaping-related lung illnesses. Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine, while some have reported using e-cigarettes containing only nicotine. In many cases, patients have reported a gradual start of symptoms, including breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization.2
An Illinois student athlete was hospitalized after vaping for over a year and a half. A pulmonologist and critical care physician who saw the patient says the student had severe lung disease, especially for a young person. Doctors say his lungs are similar to the lungs of a 70-year old adult.
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