Grave damage unveiled in vaping illness X-rays
A total of 2,172 people in the United States have been diagnosed with vaping-related respiratory illnesses using x-rays and other diagnostic tools. The CDC reports there have been 42 deaths in the U.S. alone.
Fatalities result from a rare form of pneumonia, but officials are struggling to identify the caustic substances responsible. One culprit, they suggest, is an artificial form of vitamin E.
Vaping illness x-rays show damaged tissues comparable to those in the diseased lungs of the very old.
Although at times it has appeared to be fading from the “front page” of news coverage in many media, the increasing number of deaths and illness cases has only slightly abated.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which initially pledged to get a policy in place to help, apparently has not banned many related products. But the FDA is reportedly conducting criminal investigations of various e-cigarette makers.
The death toll continues to rise, according to health officials.
Must do more
X-rays confirmed the diagnosis of many of the new vaping illnesses, which are found in almost every state.
“We must do more to stem vaping deaths and teen addiction,” the FDA announced. The federal agency pledged to regulate flavors and many bootleg e-cigarettes.
The lone factor in common in the vaping illnesses was that the patients had all recently vaped.
How a few vapes might be doing harm
One or more of the flavorings or additives in some e-cigarettes are apparently damaging blood vessels in much the same way heart disease does, one study found.
Some chemicals added may cause inflammation in the arteries and heart.
The chemicals cause body responses that mimic early signs of heart disease and heart attacks. Or so said the study by Boston University in June. Vaping illness x-rays seem to confirm the finding.
Other studies indicate vaping some e-cigarettes might actually cause mutations in DNA that lead to cancer. Vaping also may allow pneumonia-causing bacteria to stick to the lungs more readily.
New York University researchers subjected human lung and bladder cells to some e-cigarette product vapors. The cells subjected to vapes mutated and became cancerous more quickly than expected.
Makers sometimes market e-cigarettes as healthier to use than smoking tobacco.
Most of the afflicted patients have said they vaped products containing THC, the ingredient that produces a high in marijuana. Investigators have at times focused much of their attention on products containing THC. But now they have put most of their attention on additives, especially on an artificial form of vitamin E.
Currently, health officials are advising people not to use any vaping product until the cause is better understood. But some users of vaping products say the problems are caused by unscrupulous bootleggers of vaping components and supplies and many argue that the FDA has not done its job in protecting the public from vaping illness.