The CDC has announced that vaping injuries can be found in all states except for one, Alaska. Twenty-one of those states have reported a vaping associated death. The question is, why are vaping injuries on the rise?
CDC Still Unsure What Is Causing Vaping Injuries
Vaping isn’t a new fad. In fact, the first patent for an electronic cigarette dates back as far as 1930 and the US imported the first e-cigarettes in 2006. While many health organizations worldwide have reported that vaping is an unhealthy habit, the reality is that it wasn’t until recently that the number of vaping injuries began to rise drastically.
Sadly, a large percentage of the patients diagnosed with a vaping lung injury are quite young, with 80% being under the age of 35.
Symptoms Of Lung Injury Caused By Vaping
Patients who have been diagnosed with a lung injury caused by vaping have exhibited symptoms including:
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
- Collapsed Lung
Doctors and researchers believe that a chemical is causing the lungs to become damaged. So far that chemical has not been identified.
Tracking the issues with vaping has been quite difficult because an e-cigarette is neither a medical device or a drug and so that FDA wasn’t put in charge of tracking adverse reactions. This means that there is little data to go off of when an issue arises.
What Is The CDC Doing To Discover The Problem?
The CDC is working around the clock, interviewing doctors and patients, tracking outbreaks, testing products, and developing guidelines for the public.
The FDA is also spreading the word, asking that no one purchase vaping products from an illicit channel. The administration has also reported that THC should not be vaped.
Parents have been advised to talk to teens about the risks of vaping since there has been a steep increase in the number of teens who have started to vape.
New York Takes Action Against Online Sellers
In October 2019, it was announced that New York City has filed lawsuits against 22 online retailers who the city claims have been illegally selling vaping products to minors, using social media to target youth. The city further alleges that the companies have been using marketing designed to target youth, hoping to hook them and keep them with nicotine addiction.
The lawsuit states that underage clients were able to make the purchases through a prepaid Visa card and when the packages arrived, no request for identification or age verification was made. This goes against New York City law which banned the sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 21 in 2013.
Officials are hoping to send a message that legal action will be taken in order to protect the city and kids.
Steps Parents Can Take To Protect Their Kids
Speaking with your kids about vaping is very important – but also very difficult, particularly when they are teens. The best approach is to generally educate them on the actual impact that vaping can have on their body – after all, no one wants to be rush to the ER for a collapsed lung.
If your child is being pressured, be a resource and rock for them, but also don’t be afraid to speak to school officials or other parents about your concerns. The longer someone waits to experiment the less likely they are to choose an addictive habit.