In light of the recent news coverage following an investigation into cases of severe lung injury and deaths associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products, Marquette is issuing a university-wide health alert.
As of Dec. 27, 2019, there have been 2,561 cases of severe lung injury and 55 confirmed deaths in the U.S. 40% of these cases are among 18 to 24-year-old adults.
Recent lab research has identified Vitamin E acetate as a substance that is closely correlated with the cases—the chemical has been found in samples taken from people who got sick or died from vaping-related illness. However, there may be additional compounds or ingredients contained in the vaping products that may cause lung injury. Therefore, the only way to ensure you are not at risk is to avoid all e-cigarette or vaping products.
Symptoms of lung injury may include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss.
Many people think e-cigarettes aren’t as addictive as traditional cigarettes; this is not true. Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Additionally, you consume more nicotine from e-cigarettes than other tobacco products. Learn more at hopkinsmedicine.org.
Young adults should especially avoid vaping products. According to the CDC, nicotine and THC have a number of negative effects on the developing brain in teenagers and young adults, including:
- Life-long addiction
- Increased anxiety
- Impulsive behavior
- Alteration of how the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation, processes information
The Marquette University Medical Clinic urges all students to adhere to Marquette’s Tobacco-Free Policy, which not only prohibits tobacco use but also prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products on campus property. In doing so, not only are you protecting yourself from severe lung injury, but you are also preventing others from exposure to the e-cigarette aerosol, which contains extremely harmful carcinogens and toxins.
If you or someone you know needs help to quit vaping nicotine products, call 800-QUIT-Now or visit www.nobutts.org/quitvaping. If you need help to quit vaping THC, contact the Counseling Center on campus.