An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of e-cigarettes continues to spread. Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you’ve probably read or heard something about these cases. To date, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 1,604 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated with lung injury have been reported to the CDC. That’s in addition to 34 deaths confirmed in at least 24 states.
What’s Causing These Illnesses?
No one knows. However, the CDC is now reporting that THC may play a significant role. Unlike CBD, THC is a psychoactive, mind-altering compound found in marijuana that’s responsible for producing the “high” associated with the plant.
But, the source of the illness remains unclear. According to reports, many of the cases involving THC-products were prepacked, pre-filled cartridges acquired from informal sources, making the tracking more challenging for authorities.
In all confirmed patients, people reported vaping within 90 days of developing symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms?
Most vaping case-patients report experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms. Coughing, weight loss, and significant breathing difficulties are the most common ones. Other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea were also reported. Most patients end up in the hospital; the official diagnosis has been lipoid pneumonia, acute eosinophilic pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
How Can You Stay Safe?
So far, until further research pinpoints what’s causing such illnesses, the CDC is recommending people to refrain from using e-cigarettes altogether. Also, the FDA is urging the consumer to avoid using THC vaping products, whether these products are purchased at a store or on the streets.
What’s Your View?
The verdict of whether these illnesses are something new or not is still pending. When an outbreak reaches mainstream status, it’s challenging for researchers to analyze whether this is a newly recognized phenomenon or something that has been happening for a while. Regardless of the case, there’s significant evidence pointing to an increase in cases.
So, what’s your view about these issues? Are they new? Take this GR8 Poll to let your voice be heard.