In recent months, an outbreak of significant lung injury and death associated with vaping has occurred across the country. While 80% of UVA students do not vape, there is concern for those students who do choose to vape.
Vaping works by using a device that heats up a liquid to produce an aerosol that users then inhale into their lungs. The vaping liquids are unregulated and may contain various chemicals such as nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals, or other substances.
If you have recently vaped, seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
- cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- fatigue, fever, or abdominal pain
Some patients have reported their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported their symptoms developed over several weeks.
The latest findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation suggest that most individuals who have experienced lung injuries vaped products containing THC, although no single product, substance, or device has been linked to all cases. Therefore, the CDC recommends refraining from vaping, particularly substances containing THC. If you continue to vape, it is recommended that you not buy vaping products off the street or modify or add additional substances to the products.
Note: If you use e-cigarettes containing nicotine to quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes. Smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications, rather than e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact a healthcare provider. In addition, free cessation counseling may be obtained by contacting the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or QuitNow.net.
If you are interested in quitting vaping, these resources can help:
- VDH quitline online or at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669)
- The Department of Student Health and Wellness (434) 924-5362
- Local detox acupuncture
If you would like to learn more about vaping and the current outbreak, the CDC website contains more detailed information.