For 50 years, the NHLBI has led the nation in groundbreaking discovery science that has improved lung health. It’s a legacy of excellence that includes, among other public health achievements, funding for studies that linked smoking with chronic respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. These findings led to changes in public health practice and policies that paved the way for a steep decline in smoking rates.
Today, we face a new and evolving public health threat that reminds us why research matters. Since this spring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported more than 2,000 confirmed or probable cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) across the country. More than half of the cases are patients 24 years or younger. Sadly, this epidemic has claimed more than 40 lives, and the number of cases continues to rise.