The vaping epidemic is sweeping across the United States harming the teens and young adults who have become addicted to vaping products over the past few years.
According to the CDC, as of Oct. 8, 2019, 1,299 lung injury cases in people ages 17-75 years have been identified due to the use of e-cigarettes or vaping. In an article from odh.ohio.gov, ODH Director, Amy Acton believes this is a major issue that is plaguing the youth.
“We are seeing a tremendous increase in vaping among our youth, which is a public health crisis,” said Acton. “There is a perception that vaping is safe, and these reports of serious pulmonary illness linked to e-cigarette or vaping product use show that this is simply not true.”
Vaping and e-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat liquid turning it into aerosol which the user would inhale. They come in different sizes, shapes and brands. Vaping products have increasingly become more popular within the teen and young adult community. According to the CDC nearly 1 out of every 5 high school students (20.8%) use an electronic cigarette.
Respiratory symptoms caused by vaping include, coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Some cases that are not treated can worsen over a period of days or weeks can result in hospitalization according to the CDC.
The Ohio Department of Health has been investigating the vaping epidemic in Ohio, as of Oct. 31, 1,888, the number of illnesses due to vaping in Ohio was at 49, ages ranged from 15-65, with a median age of 22, according odh.ohio.gov.
Lauren Blanchard, a Senior at the University of Findlay graduating next year to become a Physician Assistant with over 500 hours of patient care and 100 hours of shadowing healthcare, professionals has a very personal experience with vaping.
“I had a friend in high school who got to the point where he used his vape product so much that if you even said the word ‘vape’ or ‘Juul’, he would immediately need to take a hit,” said Blanchard. “He was so addicted, [that] he would sneak into the boy’s restroom at school to vape multiple times a day.”
Blanchard believes that the more information available on the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes, the worse the outcome for people who vape will be.
“I believe more health problems will begin to appear in the future,” said Blanchard. “Since there are no current studies of the long-term effects of vaping, more research will begin to be carried once more health cases appear.”
Vaping is still a very new technology, and health professionals still do not know all facts about it yet. If you are experiencing any problems that you think could be associated with vaping.