Nurse News: Poisonings Among Children and Youth From Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping

I am continuously receiving new data regarding the hazards of e-cigarettes and vaping. This method is still relatively new and if one stops to think about how many years it took research to determine that smoking tobacco caused lung cancer. I have seen very recent stories on Chicago Med and New Amsterdam portraying youth in vaping incidents with lung injury and even death due to the chemicals used to vape. I realize it’s television, but I believe there is a lot of truth there. Below is some statistics regarding this hazard.
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Youth Tobacco Survey, in 2019, 5 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 27.5 % of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students. These recent data show increases from 2018 when more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 20.8% of high school students and 4.9 % of middle school students (Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011-2018. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), February 2019). Electronic cigarettes are particularly unsafe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products. National attention has recently focused on vaping-related lung injury. As of November 20, 2019, 2,290 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use- associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Forty-seven related deaths have been confirmed in 25 states and D.C. Other injury-related consequences of electronic cigarettes include acute nicotine exposure among children and youth caused by swallowing, breathing or absorbing e-cigarette liquid as well as fires and explosions caused by defective e-cigarette batteries, some of which have resulted in serious injuries.
Clinicians, school staff, coaches, parents and policy makers can all play a role in preventing the use of e-cigarettes among youth and young adults.