Grave damage unveiled in vaping illness X-rays
More than 2,050 people in the United States have been diagnosed with vaping illnesses using x-rays and other diagnostic tools. The CDC reports there have been at least 39 deaths in the U.S.
Fatalities result from a rare form of pneumonia, but officials are struggling to identify the caustic substance responsible.
Vaping illness x-rays show damaged tissues comparable to those in the diseased lungs of the very old.
Although it appears 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 any related products. But the FDA is reportedly conducting criminal investigations of various e-cigarettes.
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.
As of October 1, deaths had included two each in California, Kansas, and Oregon. There had been one each in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Missouri.
“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 vapes might be doing harm
One or more of the flavorings in e-cigarettes are apparently damaging blood vessels in much the same way heart disease does, one study found.
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 smoking e-cigarettes might actually cause mutations in DNA that lead to cancer. The mutations also may allow pneumonia-causing bacteria to stick to the lungs more readily.
New York University researchers subjected human lung and bladder cells to e-cigarette product vapors. Makers sometimes market e-cigarettes as healthier to use than tobacco.
The cells subjected to vapes mutated and became cancerous more quickly than expected.
Most 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 artificial forms of vitamin E.
Currently, health officials are advising people not to use any vaping product until the cause is better understood.