Illinois recorded its first death by smoking vape – this was announced by the local Department of Public Health (IDPH). According to the agency, the man was hospitalized with a serious respiratory illness after he smoked an electronic cigarette – before that, people died only from the fact that the devices exploded.
In IDPH, these two facts are linked together for a reason. In August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the United States said that since June 28, it has identified 193 cases of the same unknown lung disease. According to the CDC, patients are vapers. However, the data relate to only 16 US states.
The data triggered a new wave of concerns about vaping. But the defenders of electronic cigarettes believe that it is not the whole industry as a whole, but devices with illegal drugs as components.
What a disease
American doctors do not yet have a definition of the disease – just a set of similar symptoms that patients are treating. Among them: difficulty breathing, chest pain, shortness of breath, less often – nausea and weakness. Out of almost 200 cases, only 22 ended up in hospitalization. Prior to the news from Illinois, no fatalities were observed.
“The severity of the disease is alarming, and we must say that using electronic cigarettes and vapes can be dangerous,” said IDPH CEO Ngozi Ezike. The head of the Central Concert Hall joined him: “The tragedy in Illinois reinforces concerns about electronic cigarettes.”
At the same time, researchers have not yet figured out what exactly causes the disease. It is only known that in terms of vaping there was a component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is contained in marijuana. In the US there is a whole series of such vapes and electronic cigarettes. BBC reporters noted that there is a black market for refueling vapes with THC content.
But in the case of the disease, there is still more unknown than the exact facts – doctors are in the early stages of the study. “It’s not even clear whether this is one disease or several different ones with similar symptoms,” they added to the CDC.
Are ordinary vapes dangerous
The head of the American vaping association Gregory Conley (Gregory Conley) saidthat the CDC and the media specifically unfold the story of the disease in the direction of conventional electronic cigarettes with nicotine. According to him, most patients probably smoked vapes with cannabis or synthetic drugs.
In this crisis situation, every day we get evidence that the vapes with cannabis or illegal drugs, and not nicotine products, are to blame for the new disease.
On the part of the Central Concert Hall, it is extremely irresponsible to focus on ordinary vapes while devices from the “black market” remain on the streets. We urge the CDC to not only investigate this, but to make adult smokers aware that vaping is a safer alternative.Gregory Conley
head of the american vaping association
Some media also have questions for research, because there is no iron evidence of a connection between the disease and standard vapes. This means that products from the “black market” may really be to blame for the outbreak. By the summer of 2019, many American publications have already paid attention to them . Inverse, for example, talked about the whole Dank Vapes network, whose products brought at least one person to a coma. Together with marijuana in the “dressing” there were many harmful components that are released when heated.
At the same time, the CDC does not exclude that the disease existed even before the jump in the popularity of devices with THC – just before that, doctors could not associate the symptoms with vapes. According to him, some flavorings for an “oily” taste can also lead to lung disease. “You should not consider vapes as something completely safe,” the department added.
In June 2019, San Francisco authorities voted to ban electronic cigarettes altogether. For the sale of devices it will be necessary to obtain a special security certificate – now no company has this. And Lake County County Attorneys (Illinois) sued Juul for inciting teenagers to smoke “deceptive advertising.”