According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an adult in Illinois has died from what the CDC considers a vaping-related condition. Across the United States, more than 200 other vaping victims have reported to hospitals with conditions described by the CDC as “severe unexplained respiratory symptoms after reported vaping or e-cigarette use.” In a press call, a CDC doctor reported that most of the Illinois victims have been men under the age of 40. The CDC is calling the sickness “vaping-related” and not caused by an infection or other disease capable of passing from person to person.
Local Teenager Hospitalized
Locally, Tryston Zohfeld , a 17-year-old graduate of Weatherford High School, is recovering after nearly three weeks in Cook Children’s hospital in Fort Worth. Lung x-rays showed that Timothy’s lungs were partially blocked. To keep him alive, he was placed in a coma and hooked to a ventilator. Doctors at Cook Children’s ruled out pneumonia, infections and other diseases. The doctors believe severe lung inflammation from vaping effectively shut down Timothy’s lungs, preventing the required exchange of oxygen.
Federal Investigations are Ongoing
The CDC is working with local health departments to address the growing reports of lung injuries from vaping or e-cigarettes. Initial reports show a slow progression of symptoms, starting with trouble breathing and sometimes including nausea and vomiting.
The FDA is also investigating, but the source of the disease is not known. It could be related to the temperature of the vapor or to ingredients in the cartridges, whether nicotine, THC, or flavors.
Back at the CDC, Dr. Brian King explained that the e-cigarettes do not emit a harmless vapor. He stated, “There’s a variety of harmful ingredients identified, including things like ultrafine particulates, heavy metals like lead and cancer causing chemicals. And flavoring used in e-cigarettes to give it a buttery flavor, diacetyl, it’s been related to severe respiratory illness.” The diacetyl illness has been called “popcorn lung” because diacetyl was once used as popcorn flavoring. “We haven’t specifically linked any of those specific ingredients to the current cases but we know that e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless,” he concluded.
The Yale School of Medicine published a paper revealing that the Juul vape pens emitted known irritants that were not listed on the pens’ labels.