According to a new federal survey, nearly one in three high school students uses one or more tobacco products.
This comes after two people died in Louisiana last month due to vaping-related lung injuries.
Even after the state Department of Health and the CDC recommends discontinuing using vaping products, for everyone.
“Vaping seems to cause lung injury. we are having an epidemic. Teenagers and young adults are coming into the emergency department who look bad,” said Dr. Scott Hamilton, pediatric specialist and medical advisory with LGMC. “They are gray. they’re working hard to breathe. They feel lousy. it turns out it’s because of lung injury from vaping.”
Hamilton says he sees teens in the emergency department all the time due to vaping-related illnesses, which can cause lung injury and cancer.
Nurse Practitioner Kyle Lavergne with the Cardiovascular Institute of the South says there isn’t enough data to know the long term effects of vaping.
“Smoking cigarettes became popular in the 20s and then we started seeing the repercussions from health issues in the 40s and 50s,” Lavergne said. “Now we don’t know what type of repercussions we will see from vaping.”
The CDC says Vitamin E Acetate could be the cause of vaping related illnesses and death.
It’s an additive in some THC containing products.
But doctors are also concerned about nicotine and young people.
“It turns out nicotine can hurt your brain development, which is actually going on in teens and is actually going on up to age 25,” Hamilton said. “Young adults are still having brain development. Nicotine it seems to affect teens, who might have learning problems, attentional problems.
Doctors say the best solution is to quit.
“The national quit rate average is about 7.4%, which is very low,” Lavergne said. “Here at CIS we are the highest in the state at more than five times the national average in helping people quit smoking. Smoking is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.”
The Cardiovascular Institute of the South has a “commit to quit” program to help people stop smoking.
According to the state Health Department, among those with these lung illnesses or injuries in the state, the primary exposure factor is a combo of nicotine and THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana.