Evan L. Stepp, MD, FCCP, CPE, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health, discusses an apparent change in attitudes among patients in the wake of 2019’s e-cigarette or vaping use–associated lung injury (EVALI) crisis.
Evan L. Stepp, MD, FCCP, CPE, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health, director of the Highlands Ranch Clinic, and an assistant professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, discusses an apparent change in attitudes among patients in the wake of 2019's e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) crisis.
The FDA declared vaping an epidemic in 2018, and then right before the pandemic, we had EVALI. As a pulmonologist, I'm wondering what trends you've observed in terms of patient behavior?
Initially, late 2019, definitely, patients had heard about EVALI, and even my vapers were asking about it sometimes, and honestly since the pandemic, that's kind of faded away. I think, unfortunately, the pandemic kind of covered up the ongoing vaping epidemic, hence my wanting to make a presentation about this, right? The CDC stopped tracking EVALI cases back in March of last year, I guess again because of the pandemic. So it's kind of faded. So, at this point, in late 2021, 2 years after EVALI—or more than that—I think people may have a slightly increased sense that vapes or e-cigarettes could be dangerous, but not as strong as at least initially felt.