An Epidemic Supplanted by a Pandemic: Vaping-related Illness and COVID-19

Yoo Mee Shin, MD; Daniel P. Hunt, MD; Joyce Akwe, MD, MPH


South Med J. 2022;115(1):8-12. 

In This Article

Health Effects of E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes have been associated with adverse effects on multiple organ systems as summarized in the Table. Lung injuries are the most widely recognized adverse effects of e-cigarettes, capturing the attention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials before the arrival of COVID-19 in the United States in 2020.[30,31] The effects of e-cigarettes on the lungs and other organs are caused by the some of the common chemicals produced by e-cigarettes listed below:[2]

  • Aldehydes: acetone, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde

  • Volatile organic compounds: glycerin, propyleneglycol, toluene

  • Nitrosamines

  • Nicotine

  • Metals: chromium, cadmium, lead, and nickel