Parents, Yahoo! Lifestyle: August 27, 2019.
Last month, a 17-year-old from Texas named Tryston Zohfeld‘s lungs suddenly failed. He was rushed to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas and put into a medically-induced coma while the situation only worsened. X-rays found that the teen had a total blockage of his lungs. Ruling out diseases like pneumonia, doctors finally concluded that the lung inflammation and inability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide Zohfeld was experiencing had been brought on by chemicals the teen had been inhaling from his vape pen, which he had been regularly using since 8th grade.
While Zohfeld was grateful to be released from the hospital after an 18-day stay, his story is just one of several cautionary tales related to vaping and e-cigarettes that are making headlines nationwide. A 20-year-old from Utah named Alexander Mitchell was recently “on death’s door” after his lungs failed. The young man had been using e-cigarettes. Also this summer, 18-year-old Chance Ammirata’s lung collapsed. The Miami student admitted to vaping about one Juul pod every two days (roughly the equivalent of 10 cigarettes-worth of nicotine a day) for a year.
Now, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is conducting an ongoing investigation into cases like these. Here’s what you need to know.
The Dangers of Vaping for Teens
With hope, the ongoing CDC and FDA investigations will offer parents more answers about the link between e-cigarette use and lung disease, but in the meantime, experts are noting that teens are an especially vulnerable group.
Diana Zuckerman, PhD, president of the National Center for Health Research told CBS News, “It seems some kids are having very measurable damage in a very short period of time than what we’ve seen from [cigarette] smoke.” She explained that a young person’s size might be a factor in how they experience the effects of the chemicals, noting, “The same amount of vaping for a child that weighs, say, 100 pounds, is a bigger issue than for somebody who weighs 200 pounds.”
At the same time, e-cigarettes that include nicotine put teens at risk of addiction, which amplifies their risk of illness. Teens who use nicotine can become addicted in just days. Yale Medicine pediatrician Deepa Camenga, M.D., says that nicotine affects teens differently than adults because “teens are just more vulnerable than adults are to developing an addiction to nicotine. As a result, it may be harder for teens to stop because their brain is still growing and developing.”
Potential Lung Damage Symptoms from Vaping
The CDC notes that “in many cases, patients reported a gradual start of symptoms” including:
- breathing difficulty
- shortness of breath
- and/or chest pain before hospitalization
- in some cases, mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea and fatigue
People who experience illnesses after vaping are encouraged to report the incident to the FDA here.
Read the original article here.