The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed the first death of an Indiana resident on Sept. 5 due to severe lung injury linked to a history of e-cigarette use, or “vaping.” And according to the state, Indiana is investigating 30 cases of severe lung injury linked to vaping, eight of which have been confirmed.

Indiana University smoking cessation expert Deborah Buckles is available to comment on vaping, including common misconceptions about the safety and use of vaping products. 

According to Buckles:

  • Vaping is not proven to be safer than smoking cigarettes. There are still a lot of health questions about vaping that need answers.
  • Pulmonary incidents and respiratory illnesses have occurred in people that have vaped nicotine, as well as those who have vaped THC.
  • E-cigarettes are regulated by the FDA as tobacco products, but that does not mean they are FDA approved.

Buckles is the program director of the Tobacco Treatment Program at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. In 2018, the cancer center was awarded a two-year, $500,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute for the Cancer Center Cessation Initiative, created to expand existing efforts at NCI-designated cancer centers to help tobacco-using patients quit smoking.

Buckles is available for phone interviews on Monday, Sept. 9, and can answer questions by email this weekend.

For more information and assistance reaching Buckles, contact Andrea Zeek at [email protected] or 317-985-6004 (mobile).