Juul and similar vaping devices have been linked to serious lung damage that is sending teens to emergency rooms across the United States. Promoted as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, flavored e-cigarettes have rapidly become popular among teens. In recent months, however, there has been a surge in lung injuries caused by vaping devices. Despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid vaping products, the death toll continues to rise.
Why Is Juul Being Under Fire?
Juul sells approximately 80% of e-cigarette products in the United States. However, the company claims that illnesses are not related to its products, but instead illegal copycat and counterfeit products or black market THC not sold by Juul. These products may contain unknown ingredients and are not properly tested. Health officials have warned that e-cigarette users should not purchase vaping cartridges off the street. These cartridges could contain dangerous substances.
Over 1450 people in 49 states have fallen victim to serious lung illnesses associated with vaping. As of October 15, CDC reports indicated that 33 perople across 24 states had died. In early October, a 17-year old was the first teenager to die of vaping-related illness in the United States.
Symptoms of Lung Disease from Vaping
Those who have become ill, experienced symptoms that are like those experienced with pneumonia. These symptoms include:
- Coughing, shortness of breath
- Respiratory failure
- Pneumothorax, collapsed lung
What Is Making Teen Vapers Sick?
Most of those affected with lung illnesses are teens and young adults who have been hospitalized with injuries that can be traced back to their vaping. Teens are most at risk because they are drawn to the flavors and the “buzz” vaping can cause. Health officials have not pinpointed what ingredient(s) in vaping liquids are responsible for making people sick. In a CDC report, researchers concluded “No consistent e-cigarette product, substance, or additive has been identified in all cases, nor has any one product or substance been conclusively linked to pulmonary disease in patient.”
After testing over 100 vaping liquids, federal health officials did not find one ingredient that stood out as the exact cause for the illnesses reported. However, the New York Department of Health has found that there is some evidence that vitamin E acetate might be a possible culprit. Vitamin E acetate is one of several substances that could be causing the lung illnesses.