In New York, a 17-year-old man from the Bronx is the first death of a teenager due to vaping.
Tobacco companies have a long history of promoting their product as having health benefits, while aggressively marketing to youth–and overlooking health issues that pop up along the way.
Vaping is a safer and effective solution to getting adults off smoking cigarettes. Got it.
But, it’s been marketed as “harmless” on social media through influencers and school “wellness” programs and college scholarships.
the marketing has been successful
In 2018, 30% of 12th-graders admit to vaping at least once in the past year.
1 in 9 high school seniors say they vape near-daily, which probably suggests addiction.
About 37% of high school seniors reported vaping in 2018; last year 28% said they used the product.
what’s the danger
As of Oct.1, at least 1,080 cases of vaping-related injuries and at least 18 deaths were reported in the U.S., according to the CDC.
how’d the lung injuries happen
The CDC reports that most people in the lung-disease outbreak used THC products–but not all.
Lungs might’ve been clogged by oils that were vaped, like either THC oil itself, or other oils like vitamin E acetate that are sometimes added on the black market to the THC to stretch it. It is colorless and odorless, and much cheaper than THC oil.
Vitamin E acetate is sold legally as a nutritional supplement and in skin-care products, and neither application is harmful. But, when inhaled, it may cause injury to the lungs.
It goes something like this: When damage is done to the lungs, and the lungs start to heal, the tissue swells and narrows the airways. Dead cells can also slough off and block the airways, and fluids can build up in the air sacs of the lungs–all of which makes it difficult or even impossible to breathe.
Dr. Brandon T. Larsen, a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic tells the NY Times, “The lung is not very functional when it’s been damaged and is trying to repair itself.” He added that the lungs and airways have essentially been “torched.”
“There’s no reserve left while the body tries to heal itself, so people will be really sick, on a ventilator because they can’t get enough oxygen in, or carbon dioxide out,” he said. “Some patients will not recover, and will end up dying.”
There is no single e-cigarette or vaping product, brand or specific substance that has been definitively linked to the growing national outbreak.
So, should e-cigs be kept on the market? Let’s take a look.