The CDC recently advised Americans to refrain from using e-cigs due to the spread of a multi-state epidemic of a mysterious lung disease. More than 450 possible cases of lung disease have been reported in the United States and US Virgin Islands. Since April, there have been five deaths.
There isn't evidence yet of infection, however, all of the people affected smoked e-cigarettes. The suspected cause is chemical exposure to a contaminant.
First lady, Melania Trump, has spoken up regarding the vaping epidemic. She posted a tweet on Monday, 9/9/2019, asking for more prevention and protection against nicotine addiction.
“I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children,” she wrote Monday. “We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth," said Melania Trump.
Her tweet came just days after health officials urged people to stop vaping until this illness is figured out. She ended the tweet by mentioning the Department of Health and Human Services. The tweet gained thousands of likes and retweets quickly.
Many of the cases reported involved teenagers. Many of these teens have gone public about their illnesses to help warn others of the possible dangers of vaping. Here is a screenshot of a Snapchat posted on Twitter which appears to have been posted from a hospital bed by Hunter Sims.
Sims started the post by warning that "VAPING IS DANGEROUS". He then proceeded to explain how he used vapes and now he's been hospitalized with no improvement for five days.
“My lung capacity is one mouthful,” Sims claimed in the Snap. “I can’t turn to the side in bed without having a bad respiratory attack, I literally have CDC members taking notes on me and the girl in the room next to me (she’s also in critical condition). There are doctors saying I might need a medically induced coma. The doctors don’t even know quite how to treat, or if we’ll survive. So trust me when I say it’s not worth it," said Sims.
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A different teen from Utah who was put in a medically induced coma said: "never touch a vape again". Her family wasn't sure if she would ever recover. Luckily, she has since been released from the hospital. She still suffers from pain in her lungs and shortened breath.
After a student passed out in her school bathroom in Alabama, the school district actually removed the doors on bathroom stalls to prevent teens from bringing in and smoking banned e-cigs.
According to the CDC, even though adults and non-pregnant women have been able to quit smoking cigarettes after switching to e-cigs, they're not safe for youths, young adults, pregnant women, and adults who don't use tobacco products. The CDC added that scientists still have a lot to learn about the long-term effects of e-cigs, as well as their effectiveness for quitting smoking.