The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week that they have found over 150 possible cases of severe lung illness linked to vaping. The cases were reported across 16 states in the last two months, including Pennsylvania.
Many of the cases include the use of products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis. The illnesses were found primarily among adolescents and young adults. The CDC is working in collaboration with state health departments on the investigation. In an Aug. 16 email, the CDC urged physicians to collect information and samples of what patients with reported illnesses may have been vaping. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also working with the CDC and state health officials to gather information on any products or substances used and providing technical and laboratory assistance. The FDA is encouraging the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco- or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA.
“Although the medical community is still learning about the long-term effects of vaping, it is becoming evident that vaping is a major health hazard,” said Dr. George Avetian, Delaware County’s Senior Medical Advisor. “There is already enough evidence to support the prevention of vaping use by young people.”
The CDC has found that vapor from e-cigarettes is a health concern because it contains harmful ingredients, including nicotine. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing brain. E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver drugs such as marijuana. A study released on Aug. 22 in a medical journal published by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) found that inhaling e-cigarette vapor has an immediate, negative impact on the vascular system.
E-cigarettes, devices that typically deliver nicotine, flavorings, and other additives to users through an inhaled aerosol, are a rapidly emerging trend, and are especially popular among youth and young adults. These devices are referred to by a variety of names, including "e-cigs," "e-hookahs," "mods," "vape pens," "vapes," and "tank systems." E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver drugs such as marijuana.
Information on vaping, including resources and prevention can be found here: