In August 2019, the FDA announced they are investigating 127 cases of people suffering from seizures after vaping. The FDA said it’s unclear whether e-cigarettes caused the seizures and cautioned these cases occurred over a 10-year period. The federal agency is encouraging people to report if they have had seizures after vaping.
The act of vaping is a common term for smoking electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes. These tobacco products have been sold in the U.S. for about a decade. They include e-pens, e-pipes, e-hookah, and e-cigars, known collectively as ENDS—electronic nicotine delivery systems. They’re also sometimes called JUULs, “vapes” and “vape pens.”
E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products among today’s kids and it’s become an epidemic. According to the latest National Youth Tobacco Survey, about three million—or 20 percent—of high school students are vaping and they start as young as middle school.
While much remains to be determined about the lasting health consequences of e-cigarettes, there’s significant evidence confirming the health risks of e-cigarettes on the lungs—including irreversible lung damage and lung disease.
A recent study from the University of North Carolina found that even in small doses, inhaling the two primary ingredients found in e-cigarettes—propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—exposes users to a high level of toxins and that the more ingredients a user is inhaling, the greater the toxicity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has long had concerns about children and youth vaping, especially because the smoke they inhale contains addictive nicotine and other potentially harmful substances.
Recently, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Illinois Department of Health reported clusters of severe respiratory illnesses seen in teenagers and young adults who have reported vaping in the weeks and months prior to the onset of illness. As of August 2, 2019, 11 cases have been confirmed with three cases are being investigated in Illinois. It is currently unknown what specific vape product(s) or chemicals may be linked to these illnesses, or where they were obtained.
In addition to the common dangers of vaping, defective e-cigarette batteries have been known to trigger fires - and in some cases - explosions that have caused serious injuries.
If you are in need of a pediatrician for your child or a primary care physician for yourself, please call 317-880-7666 or visit www.eskenazihealth.edu/doctors.