‘I Love the Feeling’: As Vaping Injuries Climb, Doctors Struggle to Wean Youth Off Nicotine

October 3, 2019

(STAT News) – The 16-year-old looked sick. Tubes snaked around her face to deliver oxygen through her nose. Medication coursed into her veins through an IV. The culprit, her doctors said, was something in the e-cigarettes she used to inhale both nicotine and THC. Such reactions are rare though potentially serious: Of the 805 Americans reported to have this vaping-related lung injury, at least 12 have died. But last week, when Dr. Melodi Pirzada, the chief pediatric pulmonologist at New York University’s Winthrop Hospital, on Long Island, told the teenager she needed to quit vaping, the response came as a surprise. “She was one of the patients who looked at me and said, ‘OK, the THC, that is fine, but the nicotine — I really love the feeling that I get with it. I don’t know if I’m ready to give that up,’” Pirzada recalled.