Reports of sudden, severe lung illness and deaths associated with e-cigarettes have been reported across 33 states and 1 U.S. territory, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
E-cigarettes are electronic devices that use a battery-powered mechanism that heats a liquid to form vapors – or more accurately, aerosol – which the user can inhale, i.e., “vaping.”
The CDC continues to warn residents about the use of vaping and e-cigarette devices as potentially harmful to proper lung function and urges residents to stop vaping now. Nationally, there continue to be reports of people showing up in emergency rooms with similar symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, fever, and may have vomiting and diarrhea.
Numbers released by the CDC are alarming:
- As of October 3, 2019, the CDC says there are five new reported cases bringing the total to 21 cases of serious vaping- associated pulmonary injury and one death associated with e-cigarettes in Los Angeles County.
- Approximately 2 out of 3 cases reported are in individuals age 25 and younger. Both males and female cases have been reported.
- All but one reported using both an e-cigarette and a cannabis-type product, not necessarily at the same time. One reported using flavored liquids only (no nicotine, THC, or CBD). Various devices and products were reported and remain under investigation. No specific vendor, product or substance has been identified as the cause.
E-cigarette’s harmful effects were addressed Monday night at South Pasadena High as part of a parent education forum, “Vaping: What you need to Know.” The event was part of the school’s general PTSA monthly meeting in the school’s library.
A presentation attended by about 30 people was made by Albert Melena, executive director of San Fernando Valley Partnership, who addressed various topics, including: What does it mean to “vape,” What are the different electronic delivery systems, how are youth accessing vaping devices, what are the health concerns related to vaping, what are the signs that a child is vaping and what are the consequences of vaping, on and off campus?
The mission of the San Fernando Valley Partnership, Inc. is to promote a healthy community and improve the quality of life throughout the San Fernando Valley by empowering local youth and residents to identify community issues and implement comprehensive strategies that work.
There is increasing evidence of e-cigarettes causing severe lung illness, potentially leading to death among a variety of users, and the CDC urges anyone using the products to stop.
“If you currently use e-cigarettes or vaping products, we suggest you stop using them,” reads a statement from the CDC. “This advice is especially important for adults who have never used or do not currently use tobacco products, youth, young adults, and pregnant women.
The CDC says the products can lead to nicotine addiction and cause harm for fetal and brain development, which continues throughout adolescence and into young adulthood.
If you cannot stop now, the CDC suggests person to not purchase products off the street or from unlicensed facilities, and you should not modify or add substances to e-cigarette products.
Resources for those wishing to quit smoking/vaping:
Call the Substance Abuse Helpline anytime: 1-(844)-804-7500