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Increased hospitalizations after vaping sparks talks about awareness

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QUINCY (WGEM) — As kids head back to school for a new year, they are faced with a lot of challenges.

One of those challenges is peer pressure and one of the trends in the sweeping through the schools is vaping.

Local health officials say even fourth graders know about vaping and how popular it is.

That's why they encourage you at home to talk about the dangers before they go back for the first day of class.

The  Illinois Department of Public Health recently said six young people have been hospitalized after vaping.

Nurses at Blessing Hospital in Quincy said a lot of research still needs to be done on the impacts of vaping but the recent cases are alarming and parents need to have a talk with their kids about it.

"I think it would be very beneficial for kids to understand the consequences because I know they are invincible," Stephanie Willey with Blessing Hospital said. "They go through that age where they are very invincible, but show them a video of these kids being hospitalized."

And it's not just teens, Willey said it's an issue with adults too.

As a recovery counselor, she said almost every person who comes in asks for approval to vape or use e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said these are some of the complications:

  • People can experience respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
  • Some also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Symptoms can worsen over a period of days or weeks before going into the hospital.

Willey adds talking about the consequences of vaping could help in preventing more reported cases.

"We can say with certainty that the only safe thing to put in your lungs is oxygen," Willey said. "The best advice is don't smoke, don't start, peer pressure is so tough at that age. We understand that, but it has increased dramatically."

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, as of July 31, 2019, poison control centers have managed 2,439 exposure cases about e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine in 2019.

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Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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