Erlanger Children’s Hospital Physicians Warn About Dangers of Teen Vaping

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Erlanger doctors and health care professionals sounded the alarm on teen vaping today at the Children’s Kennedy Outpatient Center.

A rapid increase in respiratory illnesses related to vaping, as well as more deaths around the country sparked the warning.

Nation wide, there have now been 12 vaping related deaths, and 805 cases of hospitalization due to respiratory illnesses related to vaping.

A local panel of physicians and a health care professional today gave information on vaping and it’s dangers, and discussed resources available to help people quit.

“On regular uses of vaping and cigarettes, that it does affect their memory, their concentration, their impulse control, they’re learning ability,” said Dr. John Heise, Adolescent Medicine Physician at Children’s Hospital.

People wonder if e-cigarettes really are a safe alternative to smoking.

“They have been marketed as being safer, when in fact we really don’t know if they’re safer. And at this time, anyone who’s using vaping products is taking a risk,” said Paula Collier, Health Promotion Manager with the Hamilton County Health Department.

But Dr. Matthew Kreth says it’s not only the e-cigarettes that are the problem. . .

“Three fourths of these cases have been use of not just vaping but also, vaping the THC oils. And when that happens it causes a hyper-inflammatory response in the lungs. The lungs basically start attacking those micro-fine particles everywhere. You get a hyper-immune response to that, which leads to respiratory failure,” said Dr. Kreth.

But of course, some of the hospitalizations have happened with people who were vaping without those added ingredients. What are some of the things in the vapes besides nicotine?

“The particles in e-cigarettes are heavy metals like, nickel, tin and lead, volatile organic compounds like benzene, toluene, they also contain formaldehyde diacetyl, and then also nicotine which is addictive,” said Ms. Collier.

If you or your child needs help quitting, for youth up to age 21, you can call 778-KIDS and ask for the Smoke B Gone clinic.

You can also call the Tennessee Tobacco Quit line at 1-800 Quit Now.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News

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