Last week, we highlighted the fact that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning concerning vaping, asking people who use the products to stop. This week, more deaths have been reported; an additional 800+ people have become ill from a lung disease attributed to vaping and e-cigarettes. The cause of this current outbreak of vaping related illness is difficult to pinpoint.  Check out this article to see some possible factors.

Vaping became popular in the United States more than a decade ago, three to four years after a device was invented by a Chinese pharmacist who was a smoker. Originally, the system was promoted as a way to help people quit smoking by slowly weaning down on nicotine. A vaping device has a cartridge of flavored liquid containing nicotine which is vaporized into a mist for the person to inhale. These liquid cartridges come in many flavors including chocolate, skittles, and bubble gum, which can entice youth under 18 to try vaping and become hooked on the product and practice.

There are several problems with vaping beside the recent rash of hospitalizations and deaths. First, nicotine is very addictive, and therefore, people find quitting difficult. Nicotine can also harm a developing baby, increasing risks of preterm birth, low birth weight, and birth defects. Therefore, cigarettes and e-cigarettes are discouraged for use by pregnant women. “Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and developing babies and can damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs,” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “Also, some of the flavorings used in e-cigarettes may lead to a dangerous lung disease called bronchitis obliterans (popcorn lung) and be harmful to a developing baby.”

Another problem with vaping is how easily a young person can obtain the products, especially online. All a person has to do is check a box stating they are 18 years of age or older to order these products.  Vaping is an activity that many teens think looks “cool.”  The e-cigarettes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors, plus they have fun and appealing flavors. One type called a Juul and is the same shape and size as a USB device, makes the device difficult for teachers and parents to recognize it.  Teens think vaping is healthier than smoking and don’t see any reason they shouldn’t try it. The U.S. Surgeon General noted that in 2018, one in five high school students reported they used e-cigarettes sometime during the previous month.

At this time as more dangers attributed to vaping and e-cigarettes unfold, seriously consider quitting … or not starting in the first place.