A new pandemic is sweeping the nation, and its targeting one certain group. Vapers.
CNNreports that there are six dead and 450 sick with mysterious cases of lung illnesses across 33 states since June. All have been linked to vaping.
Doctors are still unsure of the causes of these illnesses New York Times Sheila Kaplan reports that in the past few years there have also been seven similar cases of lung infections.
The first death linked to vaping was reported August 23rd. CNN reports that the most recent death linked to vaping occurred on September 10th to a woman over the age of 50. This woman had a history of health problems that worsened when she began using e-cigarettes.
Most cases have been people in their late teens, early twenties Vox reported. The New York Timesreports that lung scans are reported to look like patients have viral or bacterial pneumonia but further testing shows no infection. These inconclusive tests are further confusing doctors and experts.
All patients reportedly used e-cigarette products, but Vox’s Julia Belluz reports that experts are unable to pin down what ingredient or device is causing these sicknesses
.In all cases, e-cigarettes were in use, and according to Salon 80% of patients used products containing THC, 61% contain nicotine, and 7% contain CBD. Salonreports, of patients using one or the other e-cigarette products and not both.
According to the New York Times, nicotine and THC are mixed with solvents that should dissolve with the vapor, but it is very possible that some of the oil could be being left behind to be inhaled which will cause serious inflammation.
Vox’sBelluz reports the CDC knows that these cases are related because they hold similar symptoms. In most cases, symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Some cases have also reported nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. In severe cases, patients are relying on oxygen support, or a ventilator to survive.
According to the New York Times,the CDC issued a statement that warns people of purchasing “bootleg” or street cannabis and e-cig products. Experts are stressing that the use of vaping should not be used by adolescences and only by people who are trying to quit smoking and are using vaping to wean themselves off.
Vox reports that experts do know the effects of nicotine after long term use, but have no clue what it will look like with vaping in the mix. Research concludes that nicotine can induce seizures, raise blood pressure, speed up heart rate, and cause arteries to narrow. After doing tests on rats and human airway cells experts have concluded that vaping does seem to trigger COPD. Little is known about the long-term effects of vaping, especially on this new generation already addicted to nicotine.