Expert Directory

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Tobacco, Tobacco Control, tobacco policy, Epidemiologic, Public Health, e-cigarretes, vaping

Chair of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Areas of expertise:  Tobacco, tobacco control, tobacco policy, epidemiology, public health, e-cigarettes, vaping

vaping, e-cigarettes, Smoking, Lung Disease

In the Lone Star State, the Texas Health Department has confirmed that a teen got lung disease after vaping. Pushan Jani, MD, assistant professor of pulmonary and sleep medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston, has been keeping up with the rise of tobacco substitutes such as e-cigarettes and is available to comment on this development. E-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products—flavorings, and other chemicals that help to make the aerosol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Users inhale this aerosol into their lungs. Bystanders can also breathe in this aerosol when the user exhales into the air. Jani, who is also affiliated with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and UT Physicians, has several issues with the tobacco substitutes. According to published research data, the flavoring agents used in vaping products can cause inflammation and damage to the lungs. While there is no tobacco, users are still getting nicotine. The impact of vaping to bystanders is not known. In practice since 2007, Jani is a full-time interventional pulmonologist and bedside educator. Jani’s clinical expertise is in procedural care, including electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy, endobronchial ultrasound-guided biopsies (EBUS), transtracheal oxygen catheter insertions, and percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy.

Deborah Buckles, Bachelor of Science

Tobacco Treatment Program Director

Indiana University

vaping, e-cigarettes, Smoking, Tobacco, Nicotine

Deborah Buckles (formerly Hudson) is the program director of the Tobacco Treatment Program at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis. In 2018, the IU Simon 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 an expert on smoking cessation and is available to talk about nicotine addiction and the best ways to stop smoking. She can also comment on vaping and e-cigarettes, including common misconceptions about the safety and use of these products.

On the topic of recent vaping-related respiratory illnesses and deaths, Buckles says:
- 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. 

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