Vaping illness count rises

Commentary by Ronald Coyle, Web content analyst, Mountain Post Living

FORT CARSON, Colo. — The Mountain Post Living initiative is to ensure Soldier and Family health and well-being. Be ready and resilient.

Vape trends in the Army

Vaping products and e-cigarettes were once thought to be healthier than smoking traditional cigarettes. A rise in recent nationally reported vaping-related medical complications appears to indicate otherwise. The Army is currently treating several active-duty Soldiers for vaping illnesses.

Army health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are advising Soldiers to avoid using vaping products. Vaping illnesses have affected over 1,000 people and have been linked to multiple deaths nationwide, according to the CDC. Additionally, the website states that 1,604 cases of e-cigarette product associated lung injury have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and one U.S. territory. The CDC confirms 34 deaths have occurred in 24 states, as of Oct. 22, 2019. The most recent defense government survey from 2015 showed that 11 percent of Soldiers used vaping products daily. Call 800-232-4636 or visit,for more information about the CDC’s investigation into lung injuries associated with use of e-cigarette or vaping products.

Negative effects of vaping

Prior studies, including a study done by the American Heart Association in an article published recently, showed vaping poses risks to heart health. The CDC is currently assessing a multi-state outbreak of lung injuries possibly associated with use of e-cigarettes or vaping products. Symptoms of the current vaping-related lung injuries include:

Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain

Nausea, vomiting abdominal pain or diarrhea

Fatigue, fever or weight loss

The CDC recommends people avoid using e-cigarettes or vaping products.

Where can Soldiers seek help at Fort Carson?

Lt. Col. Katheryn Baker, Fort Carson Public Health, said there have been no known vaping illnesses reported on Fort Carson. It is not known how vaping can negatively affect Soldiers’ lower physical fitness performance versus civilian populations.

“There has not been any research done at this time to support how vaping negatively affects Soldiers,” Baker said.

Soldiers experiencing vaping illness symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Concerned Soldiers who vape, but are not experiencing vaping illness symptoms, should contact their family or unit physician, or Fort Carson Public Health for any questions. Fort Carson Public Health is located on 6582 Magrath Ave., building 2059, at 526-2939.

For more information, connect with Mountain Post Living on Instagram @mountainpostliving or on FacebookVaping at

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