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Three Deaths Have Been Linked to Vaping

Say Contributor

Federal agencies have announced that at least three deaths have been linked to vaping, as well as 450 possible severe lung illness in 33 states. Epidemic With the increased popularity of the electronic cigarettes is coming increasing signs of its harmful effects, as the Indiana Department of Health announced today the third death from lung illnesses linked to vaping. The first case of the illness was reported in Illinois back in April. Scare At first, the lung illnesses seemed limited to a few cases, but this summer it has developed into a widespread public health crisis, as teenagers and young adults that were otherwise in normal health would enter emergency rooms with shortness of breath and flu symptoms, requiring them to immediately be placed on ventilators. The New York Times noted that “public health officials have underscored one fundamental point: that the surge in illnesses is a new phenomenon and not merely a recognition of a syndrome that may have been developing for years.” Control The Center for Disease Control is currently investigating why vaping seems to be so harmful. There’s the well-reported fact that vaping often allows the user, especially if they’ve tampered with the e-cigarette device or purchased one off the street, to consume far more nicotine in a setting than they would from smoking a cigarette. But beyond that, the CDC believes that a chemical commonly found in vaping fluid could be responsible for the lung illnesses. Dr. David C. Christiani wrote in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine that the fluid contains “at least six groups of potentially toxic compounds.” While the CDC continues it investigation, the federal agency has urged the public to stop vaping. Big Tobacco The popularity of vaping was a boon to the tobacco industry, which has seen the popularity of cigarettes decline precipitously over the past decade, and the industry gian Altira invested 35% in JUUL, by far the most popular e-cig brand. But while sales have been robust, this year has been filled with negative headlines and government investigations for the industry, including a Food and Drug Administration crackdown on e-cig sales, and states such as Connecticut and North Carolina looking into whether JUUL marketed itself to young people. With the news of the rise of illnesses and deaths related to vaping, don’t be surprised if government agencies take even further steps to curtail the product’s reach. -Michael Tedder Photo by Adobe