Public Health Director Joins Call for Individuals to Stop Using E-cigarettes Due to Vaping-Related Illnesses

Public Health Director Jill Franken issued the following statements today regarding recent cases of vaping-related illnesses:

“According to national reports, South Dakota is the 33rd state to confirm cases of vaping-related illnesses. As of September 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced there have been 530 confirmed or probable cases of lung injury associated with vaping, a jump from 380 cases reported just a week prior.
“I strongly agree with the CDC’s recommendation that individuals consider not using e-cigarette products as the investigation into these vaping-related illnesses continues.
“The U.S. Surgeon General has already called youth vaping an “epidemic,” with more than 3.6 million U.S. youth, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students currently using e-cigarettes. Most of these devices contain nicotine, the addictive drug in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products. Research shows that nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain, which continues to develop until approximately age 25. Nicotine exposure during this critical time for adolescents and young adults can impact learning, memory, and attention, and it can also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
“Just like smoke from combustible tobacco, there are risks associated with the aerosol from e-cigarettes. This aerosol can potentially expose both e-cigarette users and bystanders to other harmful substances, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs.”

Programs are available to help support people wanting to quit using an e-cigarette device or other tobacco product. For more information, contact the South Dakota Quitline at 1-866-SD QUITS (1-866-737-8487).

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