Trending Clinical Topic: Vaping

Ryan Syrek


August 30, 2019

Each week, we identify one top search term, speculate as to what caused its popularity, and provide an infographic on a related condition. If you have thoughts about what's trending and why, feel free to share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Associations with three separate, serious conditions helped make vaping this week's top trending clinical topic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently investigating more than 150 cases of severe pulmonary disease reported among users of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products across 16 states within the past 2 months. Some cases have been severe enough to require intensive care and mechanical ventilation. Although no specific product links all cases, many affected said they had recently used tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products.

Beyond respiratory concerns, a new study found that vaping just one nicotine-free e-cigarette produces transient changes in blood vessels similar to those seen in early atherosclerosis. These changes suggest that repeated vaping could lead to chronic vascular endothelial dysfunction. The participants were healthy men and women, aged 18-35 years, who had never smoked or vaped. A separate study found that nicotine-free e-cigarette vaping caused a transient increase in serum markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein) and oxidative stress.

The FDA is also continuing to investigate a link between e-cigarettes and seizures or other neurologic symptoms. They have received 92 new reports of seizure since April; some users have also reported fainting or tremors, which may or may not be related to seizures. All of this comes after the US Surgeon General officially declared e-cigarette use among youth an "epidemic" in December 2018. Although individuals of all ages are at risk for harms related to vaping, concerns about how vaping affects young people who are still growing and developing are even more pressing. Although vaping is regarded as "trendy" by some, the reasons why it became this week's top trending clinical topic are anything but positive.

Read more about the dangers of e-cigarettes.


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