While the number of people believed to be suffering from vaping-related illnesses continues to rise, medical scans showing the damage the smoking-alternatives could be causing have emerged.
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that at least 450 possible cases of vaping-related illnesses had been reported across the US in this year alone.
This follows news Donald Trump is calling on the FDA to enforce an outright ban on vaping and e-cigarette products.
Last week, Dr Dana Meaney-Delman of the CDC said, as per Insider:
While the investigation is ongoing, CDC has advised that individuals consider not using e-cigarettes, because as of now, this is the primary means of preventing the severe lung disease.
At this stage it’s still unknown what is causing the life-threatening lung issues associated with vaping, however It’s believed they occur within days or weeks of people using e-cigarettes, however some people have reported using e-cigs for years before ever falling ill.
Now, doctors and researchers have released images of lungs which are believed to have been damaged by vaping, along with suggestions from experts on what could be going on.
A teenager in California had a blister removed from a collapsed lung after using a marijuana vape he bought at a concert, according to reports.
As per Insider, Junaid Khan, a heart and lung surgeon from Oakland, California, completed the 18-year-old’s surgery.
He said the patient suffered a collapsed lung, or pneumothorax in medical terms, which occurs when air leaks into the space between the chest wall and the lung, making it hard to breathe.
Although he had a hunch the injury was related to the device, he told the publication, ‘I can’t prove to you this was related to vaping.’
Khan went onto say he believes this will be the first of many potential vaping-related issues he’ll encounter:
It’s on the verge of becoming a public-health crisis. When I’m seeing these people, it means they’re needing surgery.
That’s pretty dramatic.
Researchers who have been reviewing more than 30 cases of potential vaping-related illnesses discovered a pattern in the damage done to their lungs, which included inflammation, damage to the alveoli (or the lungs’ air sacs), and particles of fat in lung tissues known as lipiod pneumonia.
This could be as a result of people inhaling the oils which are commonly included in the ‘e-juice,’ the substance which carries nicotine or THC in the lungs.
However, it’s important to note that none of these cases have been absolutely proven to be caused by vaping, as doctors and researchers continue to explore the potential connection.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.