Since August 2019, the number of reported cases of severe pulmonary disease due to vaping or e-cigarette use has exploded. Vaping is the use of an e-cigarette, vape pens, mods, or tanks to heat up a small amount of liquid, turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled. 1600+ possible cases in 49 states and 34 deaths have brought this issue to the forefront, but what can physicians and physician-scientists do? How should they approach the topic of vaping with their patients? How big of a problem is vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI)?
In “Vaping: Seeking Clarity in a Time of Uncertainty,” authors Yale School of Medicine’s (YSM) Stephen R. Baldassarri, MD, MHS, assistant professor of medicine (pulmonary & critical care medicine); David A. Fiellin, MD, professor of medicine (general medicine), of Emergency Medicine, and of Public Health; and Yale School of Public Health’s (YPH) Abigail S. Friedman, PhD, assistant professor of public health (health policy) and assistant professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies sought to provide some clarity around e-cigarette use and guidance on what physicians can do to assist their patients who might be vaping.
"The health effects of vaping are likely to vary depending on the device, the substance being vaped, and the amount and type of exposure,” said Baldassarri. “Rapid and robust research is needed to clarify risks and to offer guidance."
Editor’s Note: As of November 8, there are now 2000+ cases and 39 confirmed deaths.