Sleek and minimalist in the design, with a wide variety of flavors and portable chargers able to be discretely plugged into USB-ports; there’s an undeniable convenience behind the technology that fuels ‘vaping’ and the booming e-cigarette industry.
What was initially promoted as a “healthy” alternative to cigarettes has officially contributed to a nationwide epidemic; one that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Currently sitting at a total of 1,080 cases that span across 48 states, and with a shockingly young demographic of users – it’s no surprise that the e-cigarette outbreak has been greeted with a panic-stricken response from consumers, parents, and health-officials alike.
As of Tuesday, September 26th, the Virginia Department of Health confirmed the first death of an unnamed Southwest Virginia resident. The death was reported by Cone Health in Greensboro, N.C.
“I am deeply saddened to announce the first death of a Virginia resident related to this outbreak,” State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver said. “Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time.”
The cause of death was directly linked to a severe lung injury, bringing the current epidemic to a total of 18 confirmed deaths nation-wide, with a 19th recently reported in the state of Connecticut.
In an ongoing study conducted by Harvard University, findings have led scientists to believe the addictive effects of vaping are far more serious than users initially realized.
Who’s Using Them?
Highly specific marketing campaigns have taken social media by storm, igniting a strong feeling of community for e-cigarette consumers. The ‘user-friendly’ product positioning was supposed to be directed towards individuals looking to quit smoking, but the exact opposite ended up occurring.
Source for statistical graph found here
On October 8th Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the identity of a 17-year old boy who died from a vape-related illness. He was previously hospitalized twice in September.
Unquestionably, there has been a dramatic rise of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes. Skyrocketing from 2.1 million in 2017 to 3.6 million in 2018.
That’s a difference of about 1.5 million youth.
Stanford University conducted a study and discovered an extremely alarming piece of information; consumers are not registering an actual addiction taking place. Those individuals are, however, experiencing both physical and mental symptoms commonly associated with nicotine-withdrawals.
However good the marketing, the ‘harmless’ image projected by e-cigarette companies is quickly becoming shattered. Attention is being redirected at just how dangerous e-cigarette products are.
What’s in them?
An independent analysis released by Mayo Clinics highlighted 17 lung tissue biopsies taken from individuals who fell ill after vaping. Out of that population, 12 of those consumers used e-cigarette products that contained marijuana or cannabis oils. Two of which died from lung-related complications.
“The outbreak currently is pointing to a greater concern around THC-containing products,” CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat told reporters. “However,
we can not pinpoint whether the only risky substance correlating to lung injury are those that contain THC.”
The results being highlighted by vaping and the e-cigarette industry are unlike anything researchers have seen with cigarette or marijuana users.
The damage found inflicted by vaping is similar to what occurs after the lungs are exposed to toxic gases and chemicals. Toxicology reports are still being released, leading public health officials to urge consumers to use extreme caution during this time.
“We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg,” said Mayo Clinic pathologist Dr. Brandon Larsen in a recently released video.
Researchers are still making vital discoveries about the impact vaping and the e-cigarette have on the human body. Considering the dramatic information gap fueled by a number of unknowns, officials at the Center for Disease and Control are strongly urging Americans to put their e-cigarettes down, and to avoid picking them up again.
If you or someone you know have been affected by negative side-effects from E-cigarettes, leave us a comment below. Or if you think this article could benefit them and help them get on track to quitting be sure to like and re-share!
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