Opinion: Vaping-related ‘epidemic’ demands urgent response

There’s been a recent rise in acute lung illnesses the U.S. linked to vaping, as well as a handful of vaping-related deaths.

“There is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response,” wrote David Christiani, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a September 6, 2019 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Federal health officials have not yet identified a single device, product, or substance responsible for the deaths, according to a September 6, 2019 New York Times article that cited Christiani’s editorial.

“Until the investigation into the cause of this epidemic of vaping-inducted respiratory injury is complete, no conclusions can be drawn as to which compound or compounds are the cause of the injury,” wrote Christiani in NEJM. He called for efforts to increase public awareness of the harmful effects of vaping and urged doctors to discourage their patients from vaping.

Read David Christiani’s New England Journal of Medicine editorial: Vaping-Induced Lung Injury

Read the New York Times article: Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Illness Surge, Health Officials Say