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CENTRAL COAST, CA – October 21, 2019 – Arroyo Grande Community Hospital (AGCH), French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) and Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC), which are Dignity Health’s Central Coast hospitals, want to proactively raise awareness about the hazards of vaping, and how it may impact lung health. Until approximately 25 years of age, the brain is still growing, and use of nicotine and other drugs are more likely to cause detrimental, long-lasting effects.
This important health issue is prevalent in our local hospitals and we seek to educate community members about the potential health risks associated with vaping. According to the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, e-cigarette use among both youth and young adults has increased considerably in recent years, with about one-quarter of American youth and young adults having tried e-cigarettes.
E-cigarette use poses a significant – and avoidable – health risk to youth. Besides increasing the possibility of addiction and long-term harm to brain development and respiratory health, e-cigarette use is associated with the use of other tobacco products that can do even more damage to the body. Even breathing second-hand e-cigarette aerosol poses potential health risks.
“Those of us who work in pulmonary medicine have been wary of vaping and e-cigarette use since the products first hit the market,” says Zach Reagle, M.D. “Despite what we are told by manufacturers, there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to tobacco products, and we are now seeing confirmed cases of respiratory failure related to vaping in our community. We urge Central Coast residents to educate themselves about e-cigarettes, and if possible, to avoid vaping products altogether.”
Youth tobacco use in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. A recent national survey showed that about 10% of U.S. youth believe e-cigarettes cause no harm, 62% believe they cause little or some harm, and 28% believe they cause a lot of harm when they are used some days but not every day.
Scientists are still learning more about how e-cigarettes affect health. However, there is already enough evidence to justify efforts to prevent e-cigarette use by young people. Respiratory Care Week serves as a gentle reminder of lung health, and Dignity Health Central Coast wants to emphasize the importance of understanding the potential dangers of vaping and inspiring others to do the same.
About Dignity Health Central Coast
Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of five award-winning hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services, and comprehensive home health services. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo, and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to provide additional funding to support new programs and services, as well as to advance the community’s access to health care. For more information, visit dignityhealth.org/centralcoast.
Sara San Juan