The College of American Pathologists (CAP), the world’s largest organization of board-certified pathologists, strongly opposes vaping, particularly among children, teens, and young adults who have never smoked. While the CAP acknowledges that vaping may have a role in smoking cessation, we stress the need for improved medical research to inform vaping-related U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations or guidance.
“We as pathologists, the physicians who biopsy and diagnose diseases, continue to witness the ravages smoking inflicts on healthy lungs, says Patrick Godbey, MD, FCAP, CAP president. We would be remiss if we did not apply the lessons learned from tobacco and nicotine-related lung diseases to help inform the current vaping-related crisis.”
Pathologists have been at the forefront of efforts to understand why vaping causes severe lung illness in some individuals, and the nature of the injury that is caused by vaping. Pathologists have a unique perspective among doctors, as we are the only physicians who are able to examine a patient’s lung tissue directly under the microscope and determine the true effects of vaping on the lung. From what has been observed so far, we pathologists are greatly concerned about the potential dangers of vaping, especially with illicit or black-market products, and we are also concerned about the long-term consequences of vaping on the lung
Because the direct causes of vaping related illnesses cannot yet be pinpointed to any specific substances, the CAP strongly recommends that persons of any age avoid vaping products until more medically supported information about this public health menace is available.