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Just last week, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a recent outbreak of lung injuries in the U.S. is, in fact, associated with e-cigarette use or vaping. Since Oct. 1, the CDC reports 18 deaths and more than 1,000 lung injury cases linked to these alternative smoking methods.

The report also highlights the popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping among young people, since 80% of the hospitalized patients are under age 35.

Physicians say the most troubling part of e-cigarette use and vaping are the unknown dangers. The CDC has yet to discover the specific substance or chemical that is causing serious lung injuries in otherwise healthy young people. Just as alarming, there is no scientific data yet on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes.

While the CDC investigation continues, here are some suggestions on dealing with the e-cigarette issue:

  • 1. Avoid using e-cigarettes – especially those containing THC.  If you haven’t started the habit, don’t.
  • 2. Parents, talk to your children about the known and unknown dangers of vaping. The biggest increase in e-cigarette use is among middle and high school students, according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
  • 3. As smokers of combustible cigarettes struggle to quit, remember that e-cigarettes and vaping have their own health dangers. And there is no conclusive evidence that using these products actually helps you quit regular cigarettes.

If you think you may have a vaping-related illness or are at risk of developing such a condition, visit your doctor to learn more about smoking alternatives and treatment methods to help you quit.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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