The CDC recently reported an alarming increase in vaping-related health issues and recommended that people stop using these devices. Across the nation, people who vape are presenting to health care facilities with respiratory issues that resemble pneumonia (lung infections) caused by bacteria or viruses, but neither of these are found in their lungs. There is some speculation that the users have either altered the liquid that goes into the devices or the manufacturers of vaping fluid have added newer chemicals which have made them more toxic to the lungs.
As I have mentioned in a previous blog, vaping is not a safe replacement for tobacco. The “vapor”, which is actually a misnomer because there is no water vapor in the white clouds inhaled by users, is actually propylene glycol, which is a toxic chemical known to cause seizures in humans. In fact, many emergency rooms across the US are seeing people with no prior history of seizures present with seizures from excessive vaping. By the way, propylene glycol is often used in rock concerts or dance clubs to create “smoke” effects. This chemical does not belong in our lungs and while there is no long term data, as we know from related chemicals in the lung such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, or asbestos, our lungs cannot handle foreign chemicals very well. It won’t be long until we find propylene glycol or one of the other 20+ chemicals in vaping fluid causes cancer.
If you, a friend, or loved one is vaping, please urge them to stop. Vaping should not be a replacement for cigarettes. If you need nicotine replacement or medications to stop smoking, contact your health care provider and they can provide safer and more effective treatments.