As Vaping Illnesses Rise, What Should Parents, Consumers Do?

Oct 7, 2019

A Woman Holds a Vaping Device
Credit Chemist 4 U / Flickr

The Centers for Disease Control said the numbers of vaping-related illnesses continues to increase at “a brisk pace.”

According to the CDC, as of October 1, 1,080 lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarettes have been reported to CDC from 48 states and 1 U.S. territory.

Eighteen deaths have been confirmed in 15 states.

All patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.  Most had a history of using THC-containing products.  According to the CDC, the latest national and regional findings suggest products containing THC play a role in the outbreak.

The CBC suggests the public should consider not using vaping products, especially those containing THC or those bought off the street.

Bill Brawner, tobacco treatment specialist and educator with CoxHealth, agrees.

"As far as use is concerned, you shouldn't use it right now if you're an adolescent, if you're pregnant, if you've never used one of these products," he said.

Some parents may have no idea their kids are vaping but don't know how to find out if they're using.  Brawner said there are signs parents can watch for.

"You're going to see the usual things they would maybe even in regards to other addictions, but in this particular way:  Shortness of breath, not as active, lethargic, grades dropping, attention levels--some of those things that you see that they get off track because they're depending upon that now," he said.

The Mayo Clinic recently found that a mix of “toxic chemical fumes” may be the cause of the vaping-related illnesses even though oils were suspected when people first started getting sick.

Approximately 80 percent of patients are under the age of 35 and most are male.