A rash of vaping-related deaths and injuries has alarmed physicians and public health officials. Scientists and physicians are still discerning what may be multiple causes to the deaths and injuries. Vaping manufacturers are accused of enticing teens to use e-cigarettes with candy-like flavors. At the same time, vaping has helped a mostly older generation of former smokers greatly to reduce their intake of carcinogens.
Dr. Vin Gupta, assistant professor of pulmonary critical care at UW School of Medicine, says these considerations are conflated in reports about public concerns. "How do we not create another public health catastrophe by getting an entire generation hooked on nicotine and potentially gateway products for conventional cigarettes – while trying to help out an older demographic who’s at risk for lung cancer, who’s at risk for heart disease? It’s a delicate balance," Gupta says.