Doctors have been unable to establish what is causing the illness, whose symptoms include chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath. Recently published information from various sources suggests a chemical injury to lungs associated with marked inflammation.

It may appear to be a chemical warfare against lungs.

Dr Anne Schuchat from the CDC said the outbreak was expected to continue. “I cannot stress enough the seriousness of these injuries. This is a critical issue. We need to take steps to prevent additional cases”.

Investigators have not linked the illnesses to any particular product or compound, but they say that vaping oils containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, pose a greater risk. Last month, the CDC advised people to stop using vaping products, or e-cigarettes, regardless of whether they contain nicotine or marijuana.

Some US states, most recently Massachusetts, have moved to ban vaping altogether until its health effects are better understood. Several countries such as India, Japan & 25 more have implemented a total ban on all Vaping devices and products.

In Canada 2 cases of lung disease with vaping were reported needing ventilation and ICU care, both were lucky to survive and are on treatment at home now.

Cigarettes have been used for a long time and we all know its’ association with lung cancer and several other diseases. With the advent of technology, e-cigarettes were made as a step down to someone choosing to stop smoking. Over the period of time these device became fancier and easily available to teens, also the liquids came in candy, menthol, fruit and spice flavors along with nicotine and THC oils, which made the consumption rise even more.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or other vaping device.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales and that is why using e-cigarettes is called “vaping”.

What are the health effects of vaping?

Vaping hasn’t been around long enough for us to know how it affects the body over time. But health experts are reporting serious lung damage in people who vape, including some deaths.

Vaping puts nicotine into the body. Nicotine is highly addictive and can:

  • Slow brain development in teens and affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, and mood
  • Increase the risk of other types of addictions later in life

E-cigarettes also:

  • Irritate the lungs
  • May cause serious lung damage and even death
  • Can lead to use other forms of tobacco products

Some people use e-cigarettes to vape THC oil, and other dangerous chemicals. Besides irritating the lungs, these drugs also affect how someone thinks, acts, and a person’s mood also.

Do I have to vape every day to get addicted?

Even if you don’t vape every day, you can still get addicted. How quickly someone gets addicted varies. Some people get addicted even if they don’t vape every day.

Cont. in next edition

Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji
MD,FRCP ( C ) Consultant Pediatrician Surrery BC