Recently, there has been a rash of hospitalizations of young people with severe pulmonary disorders. They went to the hospital with complaints of shortness of breath, headaches, and other symptoms. Physicians took the cases on first glance as pulmonary infections, but when treated as such, no improvement was seen. On the contrary, many patients grew worse; some had to be placed in the intensive care unit with lungs filling with water.
The common factor among these cases is that the patients had all used e-cigarettes before experiencing symptoms.
Doctors are scratching their heads because they don’t know what exactly is causing these pulmonary issues. When possible, they’re testing products to determine if it is the cartridge, the oil, or the solvent. Nothing is conclusive yet.
In some cases, young people were using vapes that they bought off the street instead of from a reputable retailer. And like any questionable substance bought off the street, you never know what’s in the product. It is possible that the smokers were inhaling something other than what they thought.
But even without the danger of a compromised product, regular e-cigarettes contain chemicals that are known to irritate the lungs and are potentially damaging. Teens are particularly vulnerable to these health risks since their bodies are still forming.
The state of New York has issued a public health warning aimed at healthcare providers to be on the lookout for new cases of pulmonary disease brought on by vaping.
Parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about vaping and the risks associated with it.