Shout Out to Harrison High School, Alert About Severe Lung Illnesses in Teens with a History of Vaping and Other Youth Tobacco Prevention News

A big shout out to Harrison High School administration and staff for hosting a great Town Hall Meeting about youth vaping on August 20! Thanks to my co-presenters Juvenile Court Judge Jeff Hamby and Attorney Phyllis Gingrey Collins. We appreciate the attendance and participation of  Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes, Superior Court Judge Greg Poole, and all the wonderful parents and students who actively engaged in a very productive dialogue.

As the teen vaping epidemic grows, new and serious health risks for young people are emerging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is already investigating reports of seizures related to vaping. Now there are about 100 reported cases in 14 states of unexplained pulmonary illnesses, some requiring ICU care and ventilator support, that appear to be related to vaping. CDC has issued a clinician alert requesting that health care providers report cases of significant respiratory illness of unclear cause and a history of vaping to the appropriate state and/or local health department. If you are a health care provider please consult the full Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Clinical Action Message. If you see these symptoms in any of your patients, please report them to the health department.

If your child has a cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue symptoms that are worsening over a period of days or weeks, please consult your health care provider immediately. Other symptoms reported by some patients included fever, chest pain, weight loss, nausea, and diarrhea.

Here is a report of the experience of an 17 year old boy from Texas who required ICU care.

There is a significant need for parents, educators, teens, tweens and their health care providers to understand that vaping is not harmless. Nicotine is damaging to normal brain development, nicotine dependency is occurring in greater and greater numbers of youth, and other negative health effects of vaping are emerging. To find out what you can do to prevent youth vaping, please see The Office of the Surgeon General’s Advisory on E-cigarettes.

And in the good news department, a study  published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the FDA’s “The Real Cost” media campaign “has prevented as many as 587,000 youths nationwide from initiating smoking.” The campaign “was designed to reduce and prevent smoking among U.S. adolescents” with “advertisements emphasizing the health effects, toxicity and loss of control associated with smoking and vaping.” Here is a link to the “The Real Cost” campaign page and some other FDA information.

“The Real Cost” campaign web page

FDA/Scholastic Grade 9-12 Education Resources

“Youth Vaping Risks” Infographic

Let’s keep spreading the word that: