Source: Maggie Belfield
With over 1,000 reported illnesses and 26 deaths over the past few months linked to vaporizers, the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to uncover what exactly is causing this previously unknown respiratory injury.
This epidemic has grown concern among the United States population, considering that vaping is growing in popularity among young people. According to a 2018 study done by the University of Michigan, the percentage of high school seniors who used vaping products in the last 30 days has nearly doubled from 11 percent in 2017 to 20.9 percent in 2018.
Simah Herman, a high school vaper who was hospitalized, made headlines with the following Instagram post of her holding up a sign that says “I want to start a no vaping campaign.” The caption details how she began having health issues two years prior to the hospitalization before she was unable to breathe and had to be rushed to the emergency room by her father last August. She does not specify if her vaping habit was exclusively nicotine, marijuana, or a combination of the two.
Comments under the Instagram post have become increasingly negative, with many users accusing Herman of lying about what caused her illness and misleading the public.
“Just be honest you were vaping knock off THC carts,” says Instagram commenter @nottsjungle, “nothing to do with nicotine vaping.”
“How’s that vitamin E acetate taste?” says Instagram commenter dmoney9199, “We all know you were vaping counterfeit dab carts, but it seems like you don’t want to admit it and upset your strict parents so you say the culprit is vaping. Please drop the charade.”
The CDC has not given a cause for the illness as of yet but they report that the majority of patients have been using exclusively THC or a combination of THC and nicotine vaporizers. However, there have been a few cases involving patients who used only nicotine vape products so they are not able to narrow it down to just THC cartridges at this time.
“Clearly more information is needed to better understand whether there’s a relationship between any specific products product or substance and the reported lung injuries and deaths,” said the CDC is a Sept. 19 telebriefing.
Until they can gather more information from every state where an incident has occurred, both the CDC and FDA are hesitant to state that any one product or type of product is safe to use. While they are still investigating the causes of the illness, the CDC and FDA recommend that the public should discontinue use of all e-cigarette devices but should not go back to smoking regular cigarettes.