Dr. Swannie Jett, DrPH, MSc, Brookline Director of Public Health and Human Services cautions the Brookline community about dangers associated with vaping.

“Due to the recent incidents involving vaping, I urge residents to be mindful of the dangers associated with these devices.  Please don’t tamper or modify these devices in any way from their intended usage.  Don’t participate in any contests using these devices. There is limited knowledge about the potential harms associated with flavorings, nicotine, cannabinoids, and solvents, so only purchase from approved sources.  If you experience any health problems, please consult with your primary care physician immediately, Dr. Jett stated.

Dr. Jett also noted the CDC statement of August 23, 2019 (below) and referred residents to the MA Department of Public Health campaign, “The New Look of Nicotine Addiction,” originally announced in July 2018 (below).

The CDC statement by Robert R. Redfield, MD, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted, “We are saddened to hear of the first death related to the outbreak of severe lung disease in those who use an e-cigarette or “vaping” devices. CDC’s investigation is ongoing. We are working with state and local health departments and the FDA to learn the cause or causes of this ongoing outbreak.

This tragic death in Illinois reinforces the serious risks associated with e-cigarette products. Vaping exposes users to many different substances for which we have little information about related harms – including flavorings, nicotine, cannabinoids, and solvents. CDC has been warning about the identified and potential dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping since these devices first appeared. E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products

The New Look of Nicotine Addiction

(Boston, July 11, 2018) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has launched its first statewide public information campaign to educate parents of middle and high school-aged children about the dangers of vape pens and e-cigarettes. The campaign, The New Look of Nicotine Addiction, seeks to spread the word that these high-tech products are harmful, that they contain nicotine, which can damage a teenager’s developing brain and lead to addiction.

“E-cigarette use among young people is on the rise in the state,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “It is important that we educate parents about the risks associated with these products and empower young people to make informed decisions about their health.”

Nearly half of Massachusetts high school students have tried e-cigarettes at least once, and nearly one-quarter of them reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days – a rate nine times higher than adults, according to the latest statewide data on the health and risk behaviors of Massachusetts youth. In an alarming 2015 comparison, more high school students reported using e-cigarettes than all other tobacco products combined — E-Cigs: 23.7%, Cigarettes: 7.7%. Any tobacco products: 15.9%.

“The health risks of using e-cigarettes and vaping pens for youth are clear,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Nicotine is addictive and has a negative impact on teen brain development, including increased risk for depression, mood disorders, and future substance misuse. That’s why educating parents on these risks is so important.”

Vape pens and e-cigarettes are the latest examples of how the tobacco industry targets youth in their marketing efforts:

•             These products come in nearly 8,000 flavors, many of them sweetened to appeal to younger palates.

•             They’re cheaply priced to encourage impulse buys by young people.

•             They’re easy to get – available at gas stations, corner stores, pharmacies, mini-marts, and other convenient locations in the community.

More information on the campaign is available at www.getoutraged.org.