Dr. Vivek Balasubramaniam, a UW Health pediatric pulmonologist, and teen Logan Krahn today warned youth about the dangers of vaping. Doctors urged children and teens to never vape, and all Wisconsin residents who smoke, vape, or chew nicotine products to call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line for free help to quit.
UW Health has treated at least 10 cases of lung injury in the past two months in which the patient admitted to vaping or using e-cigarettes with products containing nicotine, THC or CBD (cannabidiol).
“We know these devices are not safe for kids, and we know they can put kids’ lungs at risk for a severe, life-threatening illness,” Dr. Balasubramaniam said during a news conference Thursday at American Family Children’s Hospital. “We also know they can put kids at risk for lifelong nicotine addiction.”
One teen who said he nearly died from using e-cigarettes was Logan Krahn, a 16-year-old from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, who was the first patient treated by American Family Children’s Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit because of vaping-related lung injuries.
He had a clear message for his peers: “If you don’t smoke or vape, please don’t start,” he said. “But if you do, I urge you to get help and stop immediately.”
Resources to Help Teens Quit Smoking/Vaping
- WI Tobacco Quit Line: 800-Quit-Now (800-784-8669). Telephone coaching available to Wisconsin vapers or smokers who want to quit.
- This is Quitting: text “DITCHJUUL” to 88709. This is a texting program designed specifically for teenagers to help them quit.
- E-Cigarettes and Youth: What Parents Need to Know: Fact sheet from the CDC