Several Hospitalized for Vape-Related Illness, One Patient Dies

E-cigarettes, upon their initial introduction, were seen as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes is known to be associated with the development of lung cancer, emphysema, and other conditions that ultimately lead to an untimely death. Many longtime smokers began picking up vapes with the intent of reducing the harm of their existing addiction, while new smokers started vaping as a supposedly harmless vice. As the use of e-cigarettes becomes more widespread, it is increasingly apparent that their “safe” image was due to advertising tactics and a lack of awareness about the long-term effects.

Vaping is not such a novelty anymore, and the true consequences of the habit are being revealed. In August of 2019, over 20 people in the Midwest were hospitalized for respiratory illnesses. Doctors believe the mysterious conditions are related to vaping.

Dozens of patients entered hospitals in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin with symptoms that resembled pneumonia or other common respiratory infections, such as coughing, trouble breathing, fatigue, and vomiting. However, treatment for the initial diagnoses aggravated their conditions, according to NBC News. The patients’ rejection of the treatment prompted doctors to investigate other potential causes for their symptoms. In the process, medical staff unveiled that the individuals frequently used e-cigarettes or vaped THC products (a component of marijuana). NBC Chicago reported that a patient in Illinois died as a result of the mysterious respiratory illness.

Although a link to vaping seems to be to blame for these illnesses, the actual cause remains unknown. The Illinois Department of Public Health is attempting to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine if these cases can be attributed to a certain chemical in the vapes, the use of certain devices, or other factors.

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