Public forum discusses effects of vaping on lung health

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HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) — Vaping has come into the national spotlight in recent years, as the number of people infected with what health officials are calling “vaping related illnesses.” Health officials partnered with the Henderson County School System to hold a public forum to discuss the impact of vaping on lung health.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 2,602 lung injury cases linked to vaping that required hospitalization. Of that number, 56 cases were fatal.

“It’s tough to fight that money. It’s tough to fight those people who are going to the legislators and saying, ‘Hey, this is safer than cigarettes,” said Richard Nading with the Green River Health Department.

Now, Henderson County Schools are trying to tackle the issue here at home.

“It seems like the target population is the teenage years. We know that that’s when we’re most susceptible to develop bad habits that last with us life long,” said Dr. Garrett Koon, Pediatrician.

People were invited to attend a forum discussing the effects of vaping. According to the New York Times, vaping related emergency room visits around the country peaked in September, most involving those aged 18-24.

“It’s kind of that new “in Vogue” thing. If you ask a generation or two ahead of us, smoking was the thing for them,” said Koon.

“I was one of those youngsters that started with combustibles in my teen years. Peer pressure, all the media, the ads for cigarettes, and the same thing happened for our young people,” said Nading.

The Trump administration announcing in January they’re pulling flavored vape cartridges from shelves. Individual states are also working on bans of their own.

“The government has taken away some of the flavorings and we’ve still seen usage in non-flavored. It’s just that it’s a real susceptible age range to develop bad habits,” said Koon.

Kentucky offers a number of services for those who are trying to quit. Click here for Quit Now Kentucky, here for My Life My Quit, and here for This is Quitting.

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(This story was originally published on Feb. 4, 2020)

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