The Grapevine

Vaping Death 2019: E-Cigarette Linked To Fatal Lung Disease Of Illinois Patient

Vaping
A man smokes an electronic cigarette vaporizer, also known as an e-cigarette, in Toronto, in this August 7, 2015, file photo. Reuters/Mark Blinch/Files

The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed that a patient has died after contracting a serious lung disease following vaping. They said that it is the first case in the United States linked to the smoking substitute that is now popular among teens and adults.

The health officials has not provided other information about the patient, such as the name, age, address or date of death but they said that the person was hospitalized after falling ill from vaping.

About 193 people in 22 states have contracted severe respiratory diseases following vaping according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The officials said that the root cause of these so-called “potential cases” is yet to be identified and that investigations are still in progress.

Teens and adults who have developed respiratory complications are known to have used electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices ruling out infectious diseases as the reason for causing the illnesses. Doctors said the illness is similar to an inhalation injury wherein the lungs react to a substance triggering the disease.

There were reports of the illnesses since last June and is rapidly increasing partly because cases that weren’t initially linked to vaping are now being associated with it.

Recent addition to the case are two reports from Connecticut, four from Iowa and six from Ohio. Health officials are encouraging doctors and hospitals to notify the state about respiratory diseases that are potentially related to vaping.

The Illinois agency said in its news release that the number of people who have developed respiratory illness after vaping has doubled to 22 in the past week.

“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of IDPH, said.

Electronic cigarette or commonly known as e-cig was introduced to be a less dangerous alternative to tobacco use but health officials now believe otherwise. They are concerned of the device’s nicotine content that is detrimental to developing brains especially to young people who are hooked in using them.

They are also expressing their concerns that it might lead kids to end up smoking cigarettes. 

Experts say that some vaping products have been found to contain other possible harmful substances such as flavoring chemicals and oils for marijuana smoking.

A number of people have been detected to have inhaled Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from vaping, the principal ingredient in marijuana. The CDC said they have not identified how many of the sick people have inhaled THC.

An advocacy group called the American Vaping Association reached out to the federal officials saying that “tainted, black market THC products” are to hold responsible clearing vaping products out of suspicion.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should be investigating e-cigarettes and their impact on public health before they can be marketed, said Matthew Myers, head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

“Investigators haven’t identified any specific product or compound that is linked to all of the cases,” Ileana Arias, a CDC official who supervises non-infectious disease, said.

She added that the sickened might have preexisting illnesses that have similar symptoms.

Health officials declared they need to investigate further.

vaping Nearly one in five American teens who use e-cigarettes have vaporized marijuana, hash oil, or other cannabis byproducts: study. Reuters

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