Vaping deaths are on the rise as a lung disease that’s affected over 450 Americans claimed its fifth casualty this past Friday in California. The increase in fatalities is the latest in a series of developments that has prompted collective scrutiny of the use of electronic cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cautioned against the use of electronic cigarettes while the deaths are being investigated. Two other people died that same day (one from Indiana and one from Minnesota) from the lung disease that claimed two others at the end of August. The CDC has confirmed lung illnesses related to vaping and e-cigarettes across 33 states over the past month.
What’s Behind the Latest Surge in Vaping Deaths?
Investigators found vitamin E acetate (a substance commonly found in skin care products and dietary supplements) in all 34 samples collected from individuals who fell ill from the disease. While director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Mitch Zeller has said that more investigation is needed to determine the relationship between substances found in the product in question and the reported illnesses, the recent deaths are further evidence of the multiple health liabilities associated with vaping, which can include elevated blood pressure, hypertension stroke, withdrawal symptoms, cravings and a slew of other psychological and physical issues that we know of.
An Addiction by Any Other Name…
It’s nicotine, folks. Although the delivery system is different, and vaping offers an alternative to the thousands of chemicals found in traditional cigarettes, the potential for addiction is the same, and in some cases, stronger when people opt for extra-strength cartridges and get higher doses of the drug. As fatality continues to increase, the increase in vaping deaths remind us of the various unknown variables associated with these substances. Symptoms of the lung disease include cough, shortness of breath or chest pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, and fatigue, fever or weight loss.