E-cigarette and Vaping–Critical Updates

E-cigarette/Vaping update

September 13, 2019

Outbreak of Lung Illness Associated with Using E-cigarette Products

As of September 11, 2019, 380 confirmed and probable cases of lung disease associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping, were reported by 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The previous case count released by CDC was higher because it reported possible cases that were still under investigation by states. The current number includes only confirmed and probable cases reported by states to CDC after classification.

Six total deaths have been confirmed in six states: California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon.

While the investigation is ongoing, CDC Recommendations include:

  • While the investigation proceds, consider not using e-cigarette products.
  • If you do use e-cigarette products and you experience symptoms like those reported in this outbreak, seek medical care promptly. CDC and the FDA will continue to alert the public throughout this investigation.

Regardless of the ongoing investigation:

  • Youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products.
  • Women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
  • Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products.
  • If you do use e-cigarette products, you should not buy these products off the street (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
  • You should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
  • 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 doctor or other medical provider.

If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette product, you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

CDC and FDA encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected health or product issues related to tobacco or e-cigarette products to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal.

For more information, consult the Investigative Notice  posted by the CDC

No products or ingredients have been ruled out as possible causes at this point in the investigation

CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey—Preliminary Results:

Teen Vaping Rates Surge to Record Levels

Nationally, 27.5% of high school students report vaping in the last 30 days, an increase of 135% since 2017

NYTS 2011-2019 E-Cigarette Trends

The overwhelming majority (> 60%), of youth who vaped e-cigarettes reported using fruit, menthol and mint flavors followed by nearly 40% who used candy flavors.

  • Georgia Public Health Data published in 2018 showed an increase of about a third in statewide vaping by students as young as sixth grade.  32% of high school students are reporting current e-cigarette use. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this increase was more dramatic in the Metro Atlanta area with the top districts by size in metro Atlanta (Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton and Atlanta Public Schools) showing  a combined increase in vaping of almost 50%.
  • Individual school surveys are showing some high schools with a >50% vaping rates

Trump Administration Combating Epidemic of Youth E-Cigarette Use with Plan to Clear Market of Unauthorized, Non-Tobacco-Flavored E-Cigarette Products

As teen vaping rates continue to climb despite efforts to control the epidemic,  the Trump Administration announced that the  FDA will finalize a new compliance policy  in the coming weeks that would clear the market of flavored e-cigarette products, including menthol and mint flavors. This follows the concerning data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (See above) that show that youth cite flavors as a primary reason for vaping and that 60% of teens who vape use fruit, menthol and mint flavors. While this action is welcomed  it will take time for CDC to finalize and publish and allow a span of time for industry to comply.

Myths vs Facts about e-cigarettes

Myth: Vapes aren’t addictive

Fact: Nicotine found in most vape products and ALL Juul products is highly addictive

Myth: Vapes produce a harmless water vapor

Fact: Most vape aerosol contains nicotine, toxic chemicals and small particles that can damage your lungs

Want to learn more about the wide variety of  evidence-based strategies communities should consider to reduce youth access to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes?  Consult The Community Guide.

City of Smyrna Raises Smoking Age From 18 To 21

Congratulations to the City of Smyrna for being the first municipality in the state of Georgia to raise the legal age for tobacco sales from 18-21. Concerned over the increasing popularity of vaping devices that have been impacting the health and well-being of city youth, beginning January 1, 2020, the city of Smyrna will raise the age to purchase and possess all tobacco products from 18-21. The city leaders of Smyrna, Georgia are aiming to encourage state law makers to take appropriate action against these devices.

“The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce access to tobacco products among adolescents and improve the health within our community, ultimately saving lives. As per the ordinance, the ban on electronic smoking devices also includes any substance intended to be aerosolized or vaporized during the use of the device, whether or not the substance contains nicotine. This decision comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta continue to study the link between vaping and lung disease.”

For more information,  see the Marietta Daily Journal or Georgia Public Broadcasting Radio News

For more information, contact Laura Searcy, Program Coordinator for the CCPASA Georgia Tobacco Free Youth Project at tobaccoprevention@ccapsa.org