Inhaling the vapor created by an electronic cigarette or vape pen is referred to as vaping. These battery powered smoking devices have cartridges filled with a liquid usually containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. The device heats the liquids into a vapor which the user then inhales.
The use of electronic nicotine delivery systems, like vape pens, comes with many risks.
Risks Related to Vaping
- Exposure to nicotine: Nicotine is highly addictive, can harm adolescent brain development, and is toxic to fetuses.
- Exposure to aerosols: Aerosols may contain harmful substances including cancer-causing chemicals and tiny particles that reach deep inside the lungs.
- Increases risk of using other tobacco products: For teens and adolescents, it serves as a gateway to using combustible cigarettes.
- Poisoning: Accidental exposure to even small amounts of liquid nicotine – as little as a teaspoon - can be fatal to children and a slightly larger amount could kill an adult.
- Burns: Batteries can explode, causing severe injury.
The CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping, products.
Symptoms of Vaping-Related Lung Injury
If you, or someone you know, use vaping products and develop symptoms such as:
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea
- Fever, chills, or weight loss
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION if you, or someone you know, is experiencing these symptoms.
Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. A lung infection does not appear to be causing the symptoms.
Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your medical provider or local health department.
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Better Breathers Club
If you have a pulmonary disease, such as COPD, join us to learn how to better cope with the disease. We will discuss several pulmonary-related topics, such as breathing techniques, home health care and exercise. This program is in partnership with the American Lung Association. Call 240-434-7143 for more information. No cost!
Cigarette smoke is the leading cause of COPD in the United States. The St. Mary’s County Health Department offers 8-week Smoking Cessation Class on a regular basis. The class will help you gain knowledge about your smoking habit along with behavioral modifications, stress management and cease-smoking techniques. The classes are free of charge with medication to help you quit. For more information, call 301-475-4330.