Vaping can destroy lung tissues to the same extent as chemical spills and harmful gases, a recent study reports. They appear as a toxic fume injury on the tissues lining the lung.
The damage by vaping is consistent to that of chemicals, but the specific chemicals are still being researched.
According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), more than 800 confirmed and probable cases of the injury are in the United States, with at least a dozen deaths linked to the lung distress. This case count shows a surge from the 530 cases reported last week, and the 380 cases reported the week prior.
The CDC believes that contaminants or additives may have been added to the vaping liquid. Several brand cartridges were manufactured in China.
Vaping: Study Results
Researchers examined biopsies from 17 patients confirmed to have vaping-associated lung injury, two of whom died from the condition.
In all of the 17 cases, the researchers found signs of pneumonitis — inflammation of the lungs — and damage to the airway and lung tissue. This suggests that destruction of lung tissue could be caused by one or several inhaled toxic substances.
Health Agencies React
These lung illnesses have now brought the danger of vaping front and center to the public. Most of the smokers of e-cigarettes are teenagers and young adults. Seniors, too, vape, as the accepted thinking was that the pleasure of smoking was possible without using tobacco.
State governments have acted to limit vaping use, especially among young people. For example, on Tuesday of this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a four-month ban on the sale of all e-cigarette products in the state.
And on Wednesday, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a temporary ban on flavored vaping products.
In Congress, both the Senate and House are working on a bi-partisan bill that would rigidly control e-cigarette consumption.