The Dangers of Vaping

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The Dangers of Vaping

Ian Dahl, Contributor

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The dangers of vaping are finally becoming known to the world. A recent outbreak of lung diseases have been found in many patients with a past of vaping, most of which were teenagers and young adults. It was generally accepted that vaping wasn’t great for someone’s lungs but no one had known what the full consequences of vaping had on someone’s body. Now, many young people are being hospitalized, or even dying, because they weren’t aware of the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping.

In recent weeks, around 450 cases of lung and respiratory illnesses have been linked to a history of vaping and use of e-cigarettes. Teens and young adults were found with increasingly worse symptoms of chest pain, coughing, fevers, fatigue, vomiting, and shortness of breath which lead them to be hospitalized.  There have also been at least six confirmed deaths in Illinois, California, Oregon, Indiana, Minnesota, and Kansas that were caused by the diseases from the use of e-cigarettes.

The first reported death linked to illnesses from vaping was found in Illinois, the patient was an adult between the ages of 18 and 38. On Tuesday, September 10, a sixth person was confirmed to have died from a vaping related respiratory disease, this time in Kansas. The patient was a 50-year-old woman from Kansas who had a past with various health issues. Soon after the woman started the use of e-cigarettes, she became dangerously sick from the lung disease, although it is unknown what kind of vape or e-cigarette devices she used before she was hospitalized.

E-cigarettes are considered to be harmful to the body, especially to young adults and teens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warns that “e-cigarettes should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.” Other then the potential risk for lung disease, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that could lead to an addiction in the future. If inhaled by a teen or a young adult, nicotine can alter brain growth and cause behavioral changes. On Tuesday, American Lung Association warned that “e-cigarettes are not safe” and have the potential to cause irreparable lung damage and disease.

Currently, e-cigarettes are under investigation of the FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration. The agency’s top priority is to figure out whether the lung diseases were caused by specific products or substances and what specifically is causing the illnesses. “At this time, more information is needed to better understand whether there’s a relationship between any specific products or substances and the reported illnesses,” according to an FDA spokeswoman, Stephanie Caccomo. On Wednesday, September 11, the Trump Administration announced their plans to get rid of all flavored e-cigarettes, the main cause of the respiratory illnesses, from the marketplace. The US Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, announced that “the Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities.” Until the FDA figures out the cause of these illnesses and diseases, the FDA plans to limit sales to youths to prevent further casualties from the use of e-cigarettes.


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