The Student Health Center (SHC) is committed to promoting and creating a healthy campus environment for all to learn and work at Orange Coast College. Due to recent reports of sudden, severe lung illness and deaths associated with electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), the SHC seeks to inform our campus community about the dangers of vaping. Vaping refers to the practice of inhaling aerosol emitted from an e-cigarette device (i.e., "vape pens", "vapes", "mods", "JUULs"), which heats a liquid that may contain various flavorings, nicotine, marijuana (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), heavy metals, and other potentially harmful chemicals.
As of October 1, 2019, there have been a total of 1,080 cases across the U.S of individuals hospitalized for severe breathing problems and lung damage associated with the use of e-cigarettes, including eighteen confirmed deaths. Patients reported the following symptoms a few days or a weeks after e-cigarette use:
- Cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Fatigue, fever, or weight loss
The SHC urges everyone to refrain from using e-cigarettes. This recommendation is especially critical for those who have never used or do not currently use tobacco products, youth, young adults, and pregnant women. Among those hospitalized in California, nearly half were teenagers and young adults and 30% were treated with a mechanical ventilator, or "life support," in the intensive care unit.
All individuals are at risk of lung damage when they inhale a foreign substance into their lungs. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and have recently used, or are currently using, an e-cigarette product, please seek care from your healthcare provider or visit the SHC (714-432-5808).
Cessation resources for those wishing to quit smoking/vaping are available at no cost at the SHC in partnership with the Orange County Health Care Agency Tobacco Use and Prevention Program.
- 1-866-NEW-LUNG (639-5864). Free tobacco quitting services and nicotine patches for teens and adults are available throughout Orange County in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. See 2019 schedule of free classes.
Please view Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information about the dangers of vaping and weekly case updates on the multi-state outbreak of lung injury.