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MP50: Vaping, tobacco and cannabis among patients presenting to the emergency department: a cross-sectional study

  • K. Zhou (a1), D. Junqueira (a1), S. Couperthwaite (a1), J. Meyer (a1) and B. Rowe (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction: Inhaled toxins from tobacco smoking, cannabis leaf smoking as well as vaping/e-cigarette products use are known causes of cardio-respiratory injury. While tobacco smoking has decreased among Canadian adults, there are now several other forms of legal inhalant products. While legal, the evidence of benefit and safety of vaping is limited. Of concern, cases of e-cigarette or vaping products use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been accumulating in the U.S. and now in Canada. Despite this, very little is known about the inhalation exposure of emergency department (ED) patients; this study was designed to explore lung health in the ED. Methods: We investigated the prevalence of exposure to vaping, tobacco and cannabis among patients presenting to a Canadian ED from July to November 2019. Ambulatory (CTAS 2 to 5), stable, adult (≥ 17 years) patients were prospectively identified and invited to complete a survey addressing factors related to lung health (previous diagnosis of respiratory conditions and respiratory symptoms at the ED presentation) and information on current exposure to vaping, tobacco and cannabis smoking. Categorical variables are reported as frequencies and percentages; continuous variables are reported as medians with interquartile range (IQR). The study was approved by the Health Research Ethics Board. Results: Overall, 1024 (71%) of 1433 eligible patients completed the survey. The median age was 43.5 (IQR: 29, 60), and 51% were female. A total of 351 (31%) participants reported having been previously diagnosed with ≥1 respiratory conditions, and 177 (17%) were visiting the ED as a result of ≥1 respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, wheezing). Daily tobacco smoking was reported by 190 (19%), and 83 (8%) reported using vaping/e-cigarette products. Cannabis use within 30 days was described by 80 (15%) respondents. Exposure to tobacco and vaping products was reported by 39 (4%) participants, 63 (6%) reported using tobacco in combination with cannabis smoking, and 3% reported combining vaping and cannabis use. Conclusion: Patients seeking care in the ED are exposed to a large quantity of inhaled toxins. Vaping products, considered the cause of the most recent epidemic of severe lung injury, are used in isolation and in combination with other smoking products in Canada. These exposures should be documented and may increase the risk of lung health injuries and exacerbations of chronic respiratory conditions.

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MP50: Vaping, tobacco and cannabis among patients presenting to the emergency department: a cross-sectional study

  • K. Zhou (a1), D. Junqueira (a1), S. Couperthwaite (a1), J. Meyer (a1) and B. Rowe (a1)...

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