Vaping suspected of causing severe lung damage

Vaping is in the news… again… (i.e. you should quit vaping, and we’re here to help!)

There are endless options for what you might want to do with the end of your summer (End? How is it August already?!), but spending several weeks in the hospital with a severe lung disease probably isn’t high on your list. For some teenagers in Wisconsin, that was, unfortunately, the case in the last month. The cause? While it hasn’t been definitively determined, the Department of Health Services (DHS) says that the commonality amongst the teens was that they had all been vaping in the time leading up to their hospitalization. As of August 2, 2019, DHS is aware of 11 confirmed cases. Seven other cases are under further investigation. Their symptoms included fevers, chest pain that worsened with breathing, nausea, diarrhea, and diminished appetite, and some of them needed to be on breathing machines while they were sick. While all of them have recovered, we don’t know what the long-term effects could be from these incidents.

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Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes

After watching a few hours of local TV, I was impressed about the number of commercials dedicated to a new store that specialized in electronic cigarettes (aka a “vape shop”). I have also had quite a few patients answer the question, “Do you use tobacco?” with “Not anymore, I have switched to e-cigs”. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), electronic cigarette use doubled among middle and high school students in the past year. This has encouraged me to investigate electronic cigarettes, or “vaping”, a little more closely.

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