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As Seen on Buzzfeed: Dr. Haines Provides Insight on Viral Vaping News

Authored by Buzzfeed , Dr. Colin Haines, MD, FACS. April 27, 2021

Spine Surgeon Dr. Colin Haines was featured on Buzzfeed providing his expert insight on the correlation between nicotine/vaping and spinal conditions like degenerative discs.

Trending News: 23-year old Megan McTigue started vaping 5 years ago and has since been suffering from severe back pain. She recently threw out her back and was unable to stand, walk, or bend over. Many of our patients can relate to this feeling and the search for a comfortable position to sit! After seeing an orthopedic spine specialist and taking MRI images of her spine, she was diagnosed with 3 degenerative discs. This type of imaging is most common in someone twice Megan’s age, and the fear of this diagnosis compelled her to share her story with the masses.

After her TikTok went viral, Dr. Haines was consulted by the popular news and digital media site Buzzfeed to provide his input on the negative effects vaping, and nicotine especially can have on your spine.

‘Dr. Haines dug into the science of this correlation. “Nicotine causes vasoconstriction or the shrinking of blood vessels. Blood vessels circulate the blood throughout our bodies, carrying oxygen and nutrients. A reduced blood supply to an area results in a reduction of oxygen delivery. In addition, nicotine creates an acidic environment inside the discs which leads to disc degeneration,” he said.

The best thing to do if you are a nicotine user? “Quit, quit, quit!” says Dr. Haines. “No matter how long the nicotine use was prior to quitting, it helps tremendously.” Of course, Megan’s story is not a one-size-fits-all, and many people can suffer from degenerative discs or disc herniations and never use nicotine in their lives. However, Dr. Haines reminds us:

“Nicotine is a toxin that causes these issues with every exposure. However, the longer the exposure, the more damage that is done. It has both an immediate and a cumulative effect.”

Head to Buzzfeed to read the full article.

Are you suffering from low back pain that could be due to a herniated, bulging, or slipped disc? No matter where you are in your journey to improved spinal health, early detection is critical. Don’t put it off. Schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Haines!

About The Authors


Dr. Colin Haines, MD, FACS

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