Vaping… The New Substitute for Smoking

I just don’t get it.  When I was a state representative, there was a war on smoking cigarettes. It took years to pass smoking bans in restaurants, workplaces, and other public venues. We thought we had put a dent in lung cancer, COPD, and many other respiratory illnesses. But wait, we have now replaced smoking with vaping.

This new craze is now being investigated  by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaping has been linked to the sudden emergency severe lung illness in 14 states, according to the Huffpost:

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the sudden emergence of severe lung disease linked to vaping in 14 states.

Ninety-four possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping were reported from the end of June to Aug. 15, the CDC reported on Saturday. Thirty of those cases were in Wisconsin alone. Other states that appear to be especially affected are Illinois, California, New York, Indiana and New Jersey. …

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had received more reports of e-cigarette users experiencing seizures and was investigating a possible link between vaping and neurological symptoms.

Vaping has caused illness in young adults and older adults, as well. Shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and weight loss have resulted in patients who had been vaping. The symptoms worsen over time, and some patients need ventilators to breathe.  Some have been hospitalized, as well. And most of these patients had not been vaping for years like tobacco smokers. The CDC has expressed concern of people vaping “unknown chemicals” which could harm them and have not been tested by the FDA.

As of Friday, the Chicago Associated Press has reported that “Illinois health officials are reporting what could be United States’ first death tied to vaping”:

In a Friday news release, the Illinois Department of Public Health says a person who recently vaped died after being hospitalized with “severe respiratory illness.”

How scary is all of this? I have seen people vaping everywhere these days. And it is not just teenagers. Men and women of all ages are vaping in restaurants, outdoors, and in shopping malls. I thought we banned smoking to save lives. It seems there’s a new fad in town, and it’s worse than tobacco.

We have seen vaping shops popping up everywhere, especially in our local neighborhoods.  These shops are selling products for vaping.  Many clubs are vaping venues.  Who knows what they are smoking and how much? There’s a whole new world of vaping out there, and the CDC needs to be prepared, as do the doctors, physicians, and health agencies treating these patients.

Reports have been made of teens buying vaping products off the street and having bad health reactions. Something has to be done quickly to warn our young people and adults as well about the potential dangers.  After all the focus on smoking dangers, we now have a new substitute for smoking.  It’s called vaping.  Some things just don’t make sense, and this is one of them.

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