Electronic cigarettes are a mass consumption product with great market penetration, particularly among groups of young adults. Recently, attention has been drawn to the increasingly frequent reports of cases with vaping-related disease, leading to hospitalizations and death.
An ecological study was designed to characterize the use of these devices and the demand for vaping-related consultations in Colombia between 2020 and 2022. The National Health Service Registries and the 2019 National Survey of Psychoactive Consumption were used as data sources.
Young adults and residents of Bogotá, Caldas, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, and Boyacá had the highest consumption of e-cigarettes. Their consumption was associated with cigarette and marijuana use. The greatest reports of vaping-related disease occurred in adults over 45 years of age residing in the departments of Antioquia and Boyacá. 245 cases of vaping-related disease were reported. A total of 59 deaths were reported in the period evaluated.
The data suggest that in Colombia users are older than in other countries, which seems to relate to the costs associated with the devices. Preventive actions should begin at an early age, although adverse effects may not be observed until years later. In addition, there is a need to fill the knowledge gaps among health care professionals’ and the clinical skills to identifying and reporting vaping-related disease. Decision makers can already have data that allow health policies that prevent use and decrease cases of vaping-related disease.