La. Health Concerns Rise With Increased Vaping Use

Jan 24, 2020

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

HEALTH CONCERNS -   Using Electronic Cigarettes or Vaping has been promoted as being safer than smoking tobacco and some studies  show  it  may help  people kick the cigarette habit. But is vaping safe?  The fastest growing segment of the population turning to vaping is not older smokers trying to quit,  but young people college age and even younger.  Louisiana is among 42 states where you can be as young as 18 years of age to legally purchase and use vaping products.   But health concerns are mounting.

“We’re not made breath and inhale toxic substances,"  explains Dr. Dawn Marcelle,  a pediatrician in Baton Rouge  and  Regional Medical Director  for  Louisiana’s  Department of Health. ""And we are literally putting in a high concentration directly, direct impact into our lungs.” 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention --Since September 2019 - 60 deaths have been attributed to vaping in the U.S., 2 of those were in  Louisiana.  Counterfeit vaping cartridges have been blamed for the deaths, investigations have revealed some cartridges contained a variety of substances such as liquid vitamin E which is used as a thickening agent.  But what about non-counterfeit vaping products? Dr. Marcelle explains there are no current federally mandated guidelines. for vaping products.

Credit Courtesy: La. Campaign for Tobacco Free Living - E-cig use among La. Youth 2019

“We don’t yet have a standard FDA-regulated process to determine what is or what is not safe ," Marcelle said. "Or what can or cannot be even consistently contained or mandated exclusion from these products.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – as of January 14th of this year --  there have been more than 2600 cases of vaping-related illnesses reported and that number has been steadily rising as rate of use among younger people is growing.   The Louisiana Department of Health has recommended against vaping.    

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