Acute Vaping Related Illness Syndrome
Support Friends and Family to Quit Now
By Brad Lamm, CIP
At the bully pulpit of healthcare as a right for all Americans, I have written to the United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams to issue a warning on the dangers of vaping, and to address the intersection of vaping and nicotine as a public health emergency.
Eighteen dead today from AVRIS (Acute Vaping-Related Illness Syndrome) and more than one thousand cases in grave crisis. What more will it take for the help to arrive in some consistent messaging and quit support for the millions addicted to nicotine?
I smoked for twenty years, and only fourteen years ago snubbed out the last cigarette of my life. I have never vaped and am grateful for that bit of zero experience. I’m a recovered addict, and nearly seventeen years ago quit alcohol, cocaine, Xanax and crystal meth, so I know quitting. Nicotine was even harder than all those combined. With nicotine I was triggered every fifteen minutes or so. The urge to crave, consider, pick up, inhale and get the fix would come without fail. My friend, and constant companion? The addiction, the urges, my nicotine delivery device.
The financial costs were high and added to the physical toll that my lungs felt – no doubt a burdened body. Addiction though calls without fail. Crave, consider, pick up, inhale and get the fix without fail. That is what has happened with the more than 10 million Americans who feel stuck with vaping in their lives right now. 34 million more still smoke cigarettes.
With these staggering facts in mind, and knowing the percentage of teens vaping continues to sky rocket due to the nefarious marketing of Big Vape, I ask you to think on making a change like this:
1) Set a date, and commit to your QUIT then see your doctor to find out the state of your lungs
2) Tell your family & friends your plan to QUIT altogether or HARM REDUCE
3) For a QUIT, choose a detox aid like nicotine gum, lozenge, patch or nose spray to help you wean off the drug. If choosing a HARM REDUCTION path (and bravo for that!) get stocked on nicotine replacement therapies like the gum, lozenge, patch or nose spray to answer craving with that instead of the vape.
If you vape, your brain had become hard-wired for the drug delivery system that vaping provides. Crave, consider, pick up, inhale and get the fix without fail. That’s how it works.
So make your plan, get the support you deserve and quit nicotine like I did. Like my friend and sister from another mister Mackenzie Phillips did too. Slowly but surely your body will work on healing, rebounding and mending from the pollution you have exposed it to from vaping.
Without fail urges come and go. Cravings come to pass, I like to remember. They never came to stay.