Professor Wayne Hall, from The University of Queensland Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR), will present this seminar on Thursday 5 December in the McElwain Building, St Lucia campus.

The US outbreak of vaping-related lung diseases: probable cause and policy responses

Thu 5 Dec 2019 12:30pm1:30pm


McElwain Building (24A)
St Lucia

More than 2000 people in the United States have developed a serious lung disease in a poisoning outbreak associated with the use of vaping devices. At least 39 people have died. Most have been young men who over a few days to several weeks of vaping developed cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, chills, and weight loss. Many required hospitalisation, intubation and mechanical ventilation.

Initially e-cigarettes containing nicotine were thought to be the cause but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) later implicated Vitamin E which was found in illicit cannabis vaping liquids as the most likely cause. In this paper I describe the characteristics of the epidemic, the way it unfolded and the effort made to identify its likely causes. I also describe the media misreporting of the outbreak and the policy responses made by governments and recommended by various health bodies.

A light lunch will be provided.