- Severe lung injuries related to vaping have been reported across all U.S. states, with a total of 2,291 cases. These acute symptoms include cough, shortness of breath and chest pains, necessitating respiratory support in severe instances.
- An ingredient found in illegal vape products, Vitamin E acetate seems to be a significant contributing factor to these lung injuries, with 48 individuals from 25 states succumbing to the condition so far.
- The figures for vaping related lung injuries have risen so rapidly that future announcements will solely address hospitalized cases. Current tally has already subtracted 175 non-hospitalized cases from the prior count.
- Vaping has been linked to cases of “popcorn lung,” a condition characterized by inflammation and blockage of the lungs’ mini airways, which has been seen in one Canadian teenager who used vaping devices.
- Despite these health risks, discouraging e-cigarette use remains stubbornly difficult, especially among the youth. Current data shows that more than one in every four high school students vapes, as does about one in ten middle school students, leading to early exposure to addictive substances like nicotine.
Severe and in some cases, fatal lung injuries related to vaping have now been reported in all states across the U.S., including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The total reported cases have escalated to 2,291, according to a recent update.
Vaping and Lung Injury
The severe lung condition associated with vaping shows sudden, acute symptoms – cough, shortness of breath, and chest pains. Some individuals reported extreme respiratory impairment, needing oxygen support, and in worst scenarios, a mechanical ventilator for assisted breathing.
In an alarming revelation, an ingredient, Vitamin E acetate, often seen in illegal versions of vaping products, might be the root cause of this worrying trend. Testing results have shown that it might be contributing significantly to these lung injuries. As of present, 48 individuals from 25 states have succumbed to the condition.
Statistics and Future Reporting
The figures have been rising so dramatically that as of December 4, announcements will be generated solely for the hospitalized cases. A staggering 175 non-hospitalized cases have already been subtracted from the formerly believed national count.
Evidence against Vitamin E Acetate
There is mounting evidence that Vitamin E acetate, an agent in several illicit vape products, particularly those containing marijuana-derived THC, is the prime contributing factor to this alarming health trend. The latest update indicates that fluid samples from patients’ lungs identified the presence of this substance.
Testing results have revealed Vitamin E acetate in fluid samples from 29 patients from 10 states. The clear indication of Vitamin E acetate at the main site of lung injury provides irrefutable evidence of its role in the health crisis. Testing of other common vape materials, including plant oils, mineral oils, MCT oil, and terpenes, disclosed no correlation to the epidemic.
Link to Popcorn Lung
New forms of vaping-linked illnesses are continually surfacing. One such condition is the so-called “popcorn” lung, a condition characterised by inflammation and blockage of the lungs’ mini airways. One Canadian teenager has already developed this serious condition after using vaping devices.
In addition, there have been reports of a 49-year-old woman from California who fell ill from hard-metal pneumoconiosis or “cobalt lung”—usually linked with exposure to hard metals in work environments—after vaping marijuana.
Rising Trend Among Youth
Despite the escalating rates of lung disorders among vapers, particularly the youth, discouraging the use of e-cigarettes remains a considerable challenge. Current data shows that more than one in every four high school students vapes, as does about one in every ten middle school students. “Our nation’s youth are becoming increasingly exposed to nicotine, a highly addictive drug that can harm brain development,” warns CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.
For more information
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on youth and tobacco.