Tag Archives: Dr. Wendelyn Inman

TSU health sciences students and experts address national vaping problem, bring community awareness

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University health sciences students and public health experts are doing their part to bring awareness to the vaping problem that’s sweeping the nation.

Dr. Wendelyn Inman

Students majoring in cardio respiratory care offered free screenings on campus Oct. 23 and talked about the dangers of vaping and use of tobacco, which health experts say can lead to cardiovascular disease.

The screenings and awareness are expected to continue monthly, on campus and in the community.

“I have friends that vape, and I tell them how horrible it is for them,” says Koheen Babily, a junior from Nashville who plans to be a respiratory therapist. “It’s bad for the lungs. I see 16-year-olds vaping, and they don’t realize the damage they’re doing that will affect them when they’re older.”

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, two Tennesseans have died from a vaping-related lung illness. So far, the state has had more than 50 reports of vaping-associated respiratory illness. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control reports 33 people have died from vap- ing-related lung illnesses.

TSU experts say one way to address the problem is through regulation.

“Regulation is the key to oftentimes controlling the severity of the problem,” says Dr. Wendelyn Inman, associate professor and interim MPH program director at Tennessee State. “When we’re looking at vaping, we’re looking at safety issues of the mechanisms of the vaping machinery.”

Student Di’Andre Carter, a senior majoring in cardio respiratory care, screens a patient. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

Brenda Batts, assistant professor and director of clinical education at TSU, agrees. 

“The concern has always been that it’s not regulated, it’s never been regulated, so a lot of times people don’t know what chemicals are actually in the liquids that they’re inhaling,” says Batts.

The screenings provided by Batts and her students include checking for hypertension, a cardiovascular problem.

“Vaping can cause damage to the lungs, which in turn damages the heart, which leads to hypertension and heart failure,” adds Batts.

E-cigarettes vaporize a flavored liquid rather than burning tobacco. With every inhalation, a sensor triggers a vaporizer to heat a small amount of liquid flavoring. The liquid turns to vapor and is drawn into the user’s mouth.

KaBria Kirkham, a junior majoring in cardio respiratory care, recently wrote an article on vaping. She says it’s important to educate people so that they understand the components of vaping and the harm certain additives can cause.

“It’s important to know what’s in it,” says Kirkham, of Springfield, Illinois. “They shouldn’t be able to sell vaping pins anywhere until they find out exactly what it is that’s harming people.”

Assistant Professor Brenda Batts talks to a student. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

The CDC has not identified a cause of the illnesses, though it says 78 percent of patients reported using THC-containing products in the three months before their symptoms developed.

The agency has advised people to stop vaping products that contain THC oil and other additives like Vitamin E acetate, which has been repeatedly connected to the illness outbreak.

At least seven states have banned vaping. The Tennessee Medical Association says it supports a ban of the vaping products, but would prefer policies that require more extensive examination of what’s causing the vaping illnesses and deaths.

To learn more about electronic cigarettes, visit https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/index.htm.

For more information on TSU’s College of Health Sciences, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/health_sciences/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU takes on state opioid epidemic, will use nasal spray to prevent deaths

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has joined the fight to address the state’s opioid epidemic. The university recently implemented a new overdose prevention program to stop deaths associated with misuse and addiction.

Dr. Wendelyn Inman

Under the initiative, certified TSU police officers will be able to administer NARCAN Nasal Spray, a prescription medicine used for the treatment of an opioid emergency, such as an overdose. The initiative is in conjunction with Nashville Prevention, a division of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

“Our goal at the TSU Police Department is to minimize the likelihood that someone on our campus dies from an overdose of opiates,” said Aerin Washington, TSUPD’s crime prevention officer. “We want to be on the cutting edge of this movement as we strive to serve the community in every aspect that we can.”

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin, as well as the licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others.

Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2015, two million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a disorder involving heroin, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

TSU health experts say the university’s overdose prevention program falls in line with other preventive measures being used nationally to address the opioid crisis.

“This is one of the safe and effective methods of overdose prevention that is saving lives and supporting addiction recovery,” said Dr. Wendelyn Inman, associate professor of public health, healthcare administration and health services at TSU.

Dr. Charles Brown

“As first responders on TSU’s campus, trained officers can be the difference between a fatal outcome and a survivor.”

Earlier this week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced an aggressive and comprehensive plan to end the opioid epidemic in Tennessee by focusing on three major components: prevention, treatment and law enforcement. Called TN Together, the plan includes providing every Tennessee state trooper with naloxone (NARCAN) for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose.

Dr. Charles Brown, also an assistant professor in public health at TSU, said the opioid epidemic is impacting people from all walks of life.

“It’s a drug that’s just not impacting the poor, but it’s also impacting the middle class and the healthy class as well,” he said. “It’s very important to understand the abuse from that standpoint. It can happen to anyone.”

In Tennessee, roughly 300,000 people are misusing drugs and about 82,000 of them are addicted, according to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.  The opioid problem claimed 1,186 lives in Tennessee through overdoses in 2016, which amounts to 17.8 people per 100,000, the state Department of Health says.

For more information about TN Together, including help for those suffering from addiction and other available resources, visit https://www.tn.gov/opioids.


Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.