Large sums of people across the world have been affected by a severe lung illness linked to vaping, and handfuls have died, according to public health officials. Many were healthy young people, in their teens or early 20s who succumbed to pressure and the fame that comes with pop culture.
The people at risk
Anyone who smokes e-cigarettes or other vaping devices, either to consume nicotine or substances extricated from marijuana or hemp, are all at risk.
There appears to be a particular danger for people who vape THC i.e. the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. A significant subset of samples of vaping fluid used by sick patients includes THC and also contained a chemical called vitamin E acetate.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, coughing and fever, escalating to shortness of breath, which can become so extreme it can prompt hospitalization.
Some patients have needed supplementary oxygen, including a ventilator in severe cases.
On lung scans, the ailment takes the conformation of a bacterial or viral pneumonia that has attacked the lungs, but no infection has been found in laboratory testing.
Most health officials assume that the riskiest habit is using vaping products bought on streets instead of from a retailer, or those that have been compromised with or mixed with other elements.
The best advice to give users will come from medical practitioners and doctors to discourage their patients from vaping.
E-cigarettes and other vaping devices were designed to help cigarette smokers quit their vile habit by providing a way to cure their nicotine addiction without inhaling the toxins that emits from burning tobacco. Furthermore, health and medical experts believe that people should stop turning to e-cigarettes — and non-smokers should not vape.
On suspicion of vape-related lung cancer
People who battle with shortness of breath for more than a few hours or becomes severe should seek medical attention urgently. This warning should never be ignored.
Despite vapes being around for years. The rise of the illness
There are several postulations. The first being that, some dangerous chemicals or a mixture of chemicals have been introduced into the pipeline of vapes; and when people vape this noxious pipe, it triggers a lethal reaction in the lungs. The particular substance or device that may be causing this reaction is unknown for now.
The second theory is that the syndrome is not completely new and that some people had fallen ill prior to the recent cases but that the condition had not identified or linked to vaping. Vaping has grown in popularity, both with nicotine and marijuana.
For the time being, there is a hunt for a substance, substances or process that might explain the escalation in vaping-related lung cancer.
This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace