As of October 2019, the number of people across the United States affected by a vaping-related lung illness has reached 1,479 with 33 deaths and the numbers are growing every day. Health officials have tracked down the most probable cause: a chemical called Vitamin E acetate which is sometimes added to vaping liquids to thicken or dilute them.
The US is a patchwork of regulations about vaping. It remains illegal in some states, while permitted in others. Vitamin E acetate is a particular problem in states where vaping products are sold illegally, which demonstrates the serious need for nationwide regulation of vaping paraphernalia to ensure it is safe to use.
This outbreak of lung illness raises serious concerns about vaping, especially now that it has become more popular than ever. More than 3.6 million Americans vape, most of them teens and young adults. In 2018 alone, there was a 78% increase in the number of teens who engage in vaping compared to the previous year. While the number of vape users is constantly rising, many people are still not well informed about the risks associated with this habit.
Nova Vitae Treatment Center recognizes the importance of relaying critical information about vaping in order to educate the community better about its potential dangers. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about vaping.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling vapors using an electronic device such as a vape pen or e-cigarette. A vaping device consists of a heating component that warms up a liquid cartridge, which releases the vapor being inhaled.
Vaping devices and e-cigarettes were patented in the 1960s but did not come into circulation until the 2000s. Vaping has grown more common since then. Recently, it surpassed conventional tobacco products in popularity.
Vaping was promoted as an alternative to tobacco smoking, with many advertisements convincing smokers to make the switch. However, unless a product specifically specifies that it is nicotine-free, it may still contain nicotine. At least 99% of vaping products in the market contain nicotine. A 2018 Truth Initiative study revealed that 63% of JUUL users, the most popular vaping product, did not know that it always contains nicotine, even if it’s buried under artificial flavors.
Vaping can also be used to ingest drugs and other narcotics. Marijuana, liquid THC, hash oil, DMT, and bath salts are just some of the drugs that are being vaped. Synthetic marijuana (Spice and K2) are highly popular among teenagers who vape.
Vaping Poses Health Risks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning against vaping THC products. According to their findings, the majority of the patients affected with the lung illness acquired their pre-filled THC vape products off the streets.
THC vape products are different from nicotine products because instead of nicotine, they contain THC, which is the psychoactive component found in marijuana. However, black market THC vape products that are not sourced from legal dispensaries are unregulated and may contain other chemicals or no THC at all.
An independent testing by NBC News revealed that ten black market THC vape products contained a pesticide that can transform into hydrogen cyanide when burned. Hydrogen cyanide exposure is rapidly fatal and has been used in chemical warfare and prison executions.
How to Quit Vaping
Nova Vitae Treatment Center is responding to the rise in vaping among residents and local community members by providing information on vaping health risks, including evidenced-based treatment options. If you would like to learn more about how to quit vaping, contact us today.