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UPDATE: Vaping Illness Continues To Rise
News Bytes 09/30/2019 14 Comments

Hundreds more Americans have reported vaping-related breathing illnesses in recent weeks. Tragically, the death toll has risen to 13, health officials said Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control say 805 confirmed and probable cases have been reported. This is up 52% from the 530 reported a week ago. Illnesses have occurred in almost every U.S. state.

Over the summer, health officials began noticing reports of people developing severe breathing illnesses. Their lungs seemed to be reacting to a caustic substance. The only common factor identified in the illnesses was that all the patients had recently vaped.

It's not clear how many of the 275 added cases occurred in the last week, and how many are being logged long after they happened. The CDC has not released details on when symptoms began in each case.

The count includes only illnesses that have met certain criteria. But other illnesses are also being investigated.

One thing is certain: Vaping is gaining popularity among teens. In the last two years, the number of high schoolers who vape has increased by 77%. Recent surveys found that one in four high school seniors reported vaping nicotine in the month before they were asked about it. One in eight high school seniors say they vape daily.

Is vaping all bad? That’s what officials are trying to figure out. They have said in the past that vaping may be a less-deadly alternative for adults who already smoke cigarettes. Cigarette use is listed as the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. E-cigarettes can deliver nicotine—the addictive chemical in cigarettes—to users without the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) smoke. Using electronic cigarettes to quit or reduce tobacco smoking was thought to be a positive for adults who are trying to improve on an already bad health habit.

There was always concern that vaping would attract children and teens—and that concern is proving out in reality. Nicotine—no matter how it is delivered—is bad for developing brains. And now the mystery surrounding these severe lung illnesses adds an even more urgent level of concern.

The youth vaping trend is booming, and this month, that led to a backlash. President Donald Trump says the government will act to ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes because they appeal to young people. Rhode Island, Michigan, and New York have already banned flavored vaping products. On Tuesday, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts ordered a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products. Perhaps some answers to the cause of the illnesses and deaths may be found in that time.

At this point, no single vaping product or ingredient has been linked to all the cases. Juul and other nicotine e-cigarette brands have been around for years. But the illnesses surfaced only recently.

Health officials are advising people not to use any vaping product until the cause is better understood.

(This chart shows a decrease in teen cigarette use since 2011 but a dramatic increase in e-cigarette use among children from 6th to 12th grade. AP Photo via 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey)

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Most recent comments

Wow, this is so sad,

Wow, this is so sad, especially considering that it is entirely preventable. Also, I wonder how many teens are vaping because they actually want to, and how many are doing it because of peer pressure or because they want to look cool.

Not Good

That is terrible! That someone would destroy their bodies like that. Also, Lena P, what time zone are you in?

@ Lena P

I think most people are probably doing it because of peer pressure and wanting to look cool. Peer pressure can encourage people to do things I really don't think they'd do otherwise. It's really sad!

I I agree with Bella! It's

I I agree with Bella! It's like my speech and debate coach says " it's not like you just walk down the road and say hey! There's a marijuana plant. I should smoke this." Definitely not! Almost all of them are pier pressured into doing it.

Poops! Sorry about my grammar

Poops! Sorry about my grammar! PEER!!!!!!

Vaughn H., I am in the

Vaughn H., I am in the Central Time zone. Bella C. and Vivien W., I agree, peer pressure can be very powerful.

I hope people stop vaping!

I hope people stop vaping!

I am actually Bethsarah G but

I am actually Bethsarah G but when I resubscribed I put the wrong thing and it now says Beth S.

i don't think

i don't think it is mainly vaping, i think it is what they put in the vape stuff like vape is just water vaper mixed with a certain amount of nicotine, and e-cigarettes are pre-made so the "dealers" could put whatever they want in there and no one would know. But i don't know that is just what i think. what about y'all what do you guys think?

@^^

like there is such thing has non-nicotine vaping. And it is not "evil" yes the drugs that they put into it are but the act it'self isn't.

@nadia

well first they make the vape juice or whatever it is called and then they out the nicotine in the juice

So Sad!

It's crazy to think that almost 30% of teens are vaping!!!! Where are they all getting them? And how aren't their parents or somebody discovering them?So Sad, but it reminds you to pray for this corrupted world

This is horrible

This is horrible

I wonder..

Why would a 6 grader be aloud to Vape?!! that's upnserd! No one should vape it's like slowly killing yourself!

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