Over the past 2 months I have been doing extensive research on marijuana smoking and vaping and the effects on lungs. I became concerned about youth users' potential risks for COVID-19, now and in the future. Some facts about the use of e-cigarette or vaping products showed that use can cause deaths and a serious lung disease called Vaping Associated Lung Injury (EVALI), especially for youth.
Many of these cases are caused by the use of THC extract products (marijuana) in vaping devices. As of January 21 this year 2,711 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths have been reported throughout the U.S. Many cases are unreported. The MTF (Monitoring the Future) survey of drug use in 8th, 10th and 12th graders showed:
- In 2019, one fifth of high school seniors (20.8%) reported having vaped marijuana (for 10th graders is was 19.4%)
- From 2018 to 2019 the percentage of seniors vaping marijuana in the past month increased from 7.5% to 14%. Among 10th graders use was 12.6%
- A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association states, "Marijuana vaping produces significantly greater physiological and psychological effects compared with traditional smoking methods at the same tetrahydrocannabinol levels (THC), raising concerns about potential health effects."
After my research, talking to concerned parents, and medical experts, I became more alarmed that the popularity of THC vaping by youth, and lung damage risks and the COVID-19 pandemic, could lead to long-term lung damage, and even death. I was given permission to share the Drug Free America Foundation's excellent info-poster to help give more details about Vaping, Smoking and COVID-19.
Bottom Line: Use could lead to Double Danger
Please be aware and take the necessary actions to protect your family and friends!
Best wishes for your health and safety,
Lynn Fox, Ph.D., Drug Awareness Program Chair, San Rafael Elks Lodge 1108