Most people know that tobacco and nicotine kill, but many minors don’t the warning, especially when it comes to vaping. After all, when a person smokes cigarettes, it usually takes several years to affect the lungs.
Vaping, however, has been causing the rapid deterioration of lungs and the FDA still isn’t positive how and why this has happened.
Vaping is a Crisis Among Young
Vaping has rapidly become an addiction that is prevalent among youth. Described as an “epidemic” by former FDA chief Scoot Gottlieb, the amount of young people who vape electronic cigarettes has risen dramatically in the past few years.
According to the National Institutes of Health:
“More than 44,000 students took part in the 2018 annual survey of drug, alcohol, and cigarette use in 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. About 37% of 12th graders reported vaping in 2018, compared with 28% in 2017. Vaping of each substance that was asked about increased. This includes nicotine, flavored liquids, marijuana, and hash oil.”
Over 400 Vapers Have Now Been Hospitalized
Hospitalizations with serious lung conditions have emerged over these final months of summer in the US, fueling speculation of a contaminants reaching the “pods” that are used in electronic cigarettes. While many of these illnesses were from people who vape nicotine, officials have only found an adulterant in marijuana cigarettes. While the name of the manufacturer has been withheld so far, the FDA and NIH are urging marijuana as well as nicotine vapers to cease using these products.
People who vape have been so ill that some require machines to breathe, while others are in need of lung transplants. Five people have died.
The federal branches of the government are investigating the lung diseases, and so far they have only found traces of a fat from vitamin E, which may be causing lipid pneumonia. However, other patients who vape have suffered from more than penuemonia, and there are fears that changes in the lungs are permanent; doctors can’t find the exact mechanism for each patient, and a few have lost lung function completely.
If you or somebody you love is addicted to vaping, it’s time to take action. A treatment program, individual counseling, and nicotine replacement therapy are all options to consider. If you can’t stop vaping marijuana on your own, you may have a substance use disorder. Help is available for all of these things. Please call the phone number at the top of this page for referrals and more information on getting help.