Vaping: The “Healthier” Cause of Lung Disease

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AP+Photo%2FSteve+Helber
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Vaping: The “Healthier” Cause of Lung Disease

AP Photo/Steve Helber

AP Photo/Steve Helber

AP Photo/Steve Helber

AP Photo/Steve Helber

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Advertised as a healthier version of a cigarette, vaping has become a trend within today’s youth. The consequences of this new fad can be life-threatening; as early August of this year, Alexander Mitchell, a 20 year old man from Utah, died from a strange new disease caused by vaping.

Mitchell isn’t alone, reports say that at least 5 deaths have been linked to the new disease. It has been so widespread that  more than 200 people were already diagnosed last month with symptoms of difficulty in breathing, vomiting, chest pain and fatigue. In some cases vaping was also linked to seizures. The CDC and FDA are conducting research with different chemicals such as Vitamin E which is said to be the most likely cause of the disease. 

This outbreak has become such an issue that Kevin Burns, CEO of popular e-cigarette company “Juul’, went on CBS and warned people not to use his product. He clarified that Juul’s target audience is ex-smokers and not teenagers. However, when asked if Juul was safer than cigarettes, he didn’t answer. The CDC has also recently stated that e-cigarettes should not be used by teenagers, young adults or pregnant women. 

Vaping and other e-cigarettes may be helpful to those who are struggling with a smoking addiction. Yet, the e-cigarettes aren’t attracting the ex-smokers; they are attracting a new audience: teenagers. More than half of e-cigarette users are under the age of 35, and about 66 percent of teens who do use e-cigarettes believe that it is “just flavoring”. US public health officials are starting to warn the public who aren’t already smokers not to use vapes and other e-cigarettes. 

  This is not the first time a product misinformed the public to appear healthy. When cigarettes were first produced in the late 1800s, they were also advertised as a helpful product. Some advertisements claimed that cigarettes would help your throat, nose and voice. It wasn’t until 1964, when a link between smoking and lung cancer was found, that the US Congress first started regulating cigarettes. Vapes, on the other hand, became a trend in the early 2000s, and nearly 20 years later have already been linked to a disease. 

With all the recent findings, more teenagers are starting to realize that vaping and other e-cigarettes are not as safe as they had imagined. Some have even started a “no vaping campaign” to raise awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes. The outrage could also result in more regulations being placed onto e-cigarettes; some politicians and scientists have already been pushing for it. At the end of the day, just because an e-cigarette is “better” than a normal cigarette doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy.