Is Vaping The Cause of Mysterious Illnesses?

Alex Alden

On Aug. 23 an Illinois man who was admitted to the
hospital with symptoms of respiratory distress after vaping, died, making him the first ever official death attributed to vaping.
According to the Illinois
Department of Public Health, the following week saw another 22 people with ages ranging from 17-38 admitted to the
hospital after vaping. As of Sept. 10, 450 people in 33 states have come down with mysterious vaping related diseases, and five more people have died.
According to an article in The New York Times, the Center
for Disease Control’s lead investigator into the phenomenon, Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman said, “While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products.”
While the various investigations have not discovered a concrete cause for the illnesses, THC vape cartridges have been implicated. Many of the afflicted patients admitted to their doctors they were vaping THC prior to the sudden onset of their symptoms.
According to The Washington Post, large amounts of Vitamin E acetate were found as an additive in 10 of the 18 THC samples tested by the Food and Drug Administration. While it may sound somewhat harmless, Vitamin E acetate is dangerous if inhaled.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York issued subpoenas to three firms for selling Vitamin E oil
as a thickening agent. Vape
cartridge counterfeiters use
the substance to dilute the levels
of THC before selling the
cartridges on the black market.
The Food and Drug Administration is not comfortable blaming Vitamin E at this stage, but has said officially that ,“it’s prudent to avoid inhaling this substance.”
“I used to vape both nicotine and THC products, but I have since quit,” said Benn Parker a former Business student at
Dickinson College who come to the Newtown campus to study. “I just became concerned with the potential health risks.”
Parker is certainly not alone in his concern. Almost nothing is known about the potential long term impact e-cigarette use could have on the human body.
Oleg Chuchinin a criminal justice major at Bucks was surprised that the Center for Disease Control had warned vape users to stop using until the investigation ceases.
“Are cigarettes part of this?” Chuchinin asked. “If I could smoke one cigarette a day
instead, I would do that.”
Chuchinin added he was
content to stop vaping as long
as he could fall back on an alternative.
According to data collected by the Center for Disease Control
in 2018, 27 percent of high school students used nicotine products, and 21 percent of those exclusively used e-cigarettes.
“Yes I vape, but I only use
nicotine products,” said Jacob Polcak a cyber security major at Bucks. “I didn’t realize the effects. I would definitely pause.”
While the cause of these lung illnesses is still unknown, THC products in particular are the most common thread.