Health Advisories

Vaping Crisis (09/26/2019)

You might have seen in the news that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has declared a public health crisis and has banned the sale of all vaping paraphernalia for at least 4 months.  This is due to a nationwide outbreak of severe respiratory illnesses and sudden deaths associated with the use of e-cigarette/vaping products (devices, liquids, refill pods and/or cartridges). While some of the patients reported recent use of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabinoid (CBD) containing products, some reported using nicotine products.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is currently investigating the outbreak in order to determine what is causing the illnesses. Until we know more, CDC recommends that you refrain from using e-cigarettes or vaping products. Anyone who uses an e-cigarette or vaping product should not buy these products off the street and should not modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.

If you use e-cigarette or vaping products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health.

Many people who vape have become addicted to nicotine and will need help in quitting. Often people are able to quit through the use of nicotine replacement products such as gum and patches. Massachusetts has initiated a statewide standing order for these products which will allow people to obtain these products as a covered benefit through their insurance without requiring an individual prescription. This means you can go to any pharmacy in Massachusetts and get nicotine replacement products without obtaining a prescription from your health care provider.  In addition to nicotine replacement, other medications are available to help a person quit smoking or vaping. Students can make an appointment at Student Health Services for quit smoking/vaping counseling, as well as prescriptions for other medications.

As a reminder, smoking and vaping are prohibited on UMass Dartmouth grounds.