August 24, 2019
I’ve often used the catchphrase “nothing is free.” And I’ve used that catchphrase in talking about vaping. Because the idea of enjoying the joys of nicotine without suffering the consequences of it seemed to violate the rules of the universe, I predicted that health problems would emerge.
The first vape death has occurred.
An Illinois resident who had recently vaped and was hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness has died, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. WGN-TV reports that the circumstances surrounding the death are unclear at this time, and the person’s identity has not yet been released.
According to the IDPH, the number of cases of people who have used e-cigarettes or vaped and have been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms has doubled in the past week.
A total of 22 people, ranging in age from 17-38 years, have experienced respiratory illness after using e-cigarettes or vaping. IDPH is working with local health departments to investigate another 12 individuals.
Affected individuals have experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Some also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.
“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
The IDPH said they are working with local health departments, other state health departments, and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the names and types of e-cigarettes, vaping products, and devices, as well as where they were obtained.
According to the CDC, in many cases, including Illinois, patients have acknowledged to health care personnel recent use of THC-containing products. However, no specific product has been identified in all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to illnesses.
THC products, for those who do not know, are based on marijuana.
And it seems likely that THC products are responsible for this recent outbreak in vape-related illness.
THC or not, this signals the end of the theory that this was vice without consequences, and there are no doubt going to be a series of studies released showing that vaping, with or without THC, can cause all kinds of various health problems that shorten lifespans in the same way as cigarettes do.
We’ve already recently had studies released showing that it causes the restriction of oxygen in the blood, which could lead to very serious heart problems.
I doubt that it will ever be shown to be as bad as smoking cigarettes, but I do not think vaping is healthy, and people would do well to limit their use and try to quit. Certainly, no one who is not quitting cigarettes should ever start vaping.
I have been vaping for several years myself, having formerly been a very heavy smoker, and in recent months I’ve been cutting back and considering quitting completely (despite the fact that nicotine is very good for my brain and thus my work). I’ve had a nicotine habit for 20 years, so it’s not an easy thing to do, but it is ideal and probably necessary.
My best advice is to use chewing gum. Not the nicotine gum, which is too expensive for anyone to afford, but just normal chewing gum. It helps a lot. Furthermore, if you are going to vape, it is probably best to do some research into what is the safest way to do it. In particular, it seems that staying away from Juul is a good idea, given that most or all of the recent health cases have been related to Juul.