People Hospitalized from Vaping
Since September 11, eight people have passed away from lung disease related to vaping with more than 450 people currently diagnosed with a serious lung illness. The ages of these victims have ranges from 17 – 65. According to CNN, “all reported cases have indicated the use of e-cigarette products and some patients have reported using e-cigarettes containing cannabinoid products, such as THC.”
There are several theories to what exactly is causing illness. One theory is that these e-cigarettes contained Vitamin E acetate. While Vitamin E acetate is found in some foods and lotions, inhaling it could cause an inflammatory response.
There are other chemicals also being suspected, however, it has been noted that this unknown chemical was added to THC-containing vapor liquids. Other scientists are theorizing that “thickeners” are being added to vapor liquids in order to thicken the vapor. They are usually found in THC-containing vapor liquids. Because of this, scientists fear that the victims with this vaping related lung disease used a counterfeit cartridges. These cartridges could contain a multitude of other chemicals.
On September 11, the U.S. government decided to take action by banning flavored e-cigarettes. The goal of this ban, according to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, is to “reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities.” It is important to note that tobacco flavors will not be banned for adults who are using e-cigarettes to quit smoking.
The state of Texas has also made changes with their tobacco laws. Since August 2019, the legal smoking age rose from 18 to 21.
A student who wishes to remain anonymous said, “I don’t think banning flavors will stop kids from vaping. I think a lot of people started vaping because it was a trend and nicotine kept them vaping.”
Another student who also wishes to remain anonymous said, “I think it’s a good thing. To my knowledge, the effects of a lot of flavors haven’t really been studied and the point of vaping should be to wean yourself off of nicotine use, not to enjoy it via fun flavors. Also, the flavors are a primary draw to vaping for teenagers.”
If you have a nicotine addiction, or are feeling ill, please go to the SU Health Center. There, they can provide you the help that you need. A nurse practitioner at the Health Center, Jennifer Spiller, says there are multiple resources for students with a nicotine addiction.
“We have the Texas Quitline, and I can refer them to that. Anyone can use the Texas Quitline, but I refer them they can get free nicotine replacement and they can get some telephone counseling to be able to help them. And they can also seek help at our counseling center,” said Spiller.
SU Health Center
Location: Prothro Suite 200
Phone Number: 512-863-1252
Hours: Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm
Bring a copy of insurance to appointments