Teens old and young love to vape, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have come up with some pretty compelling evidence around why we—I mean, they—should stop: Since June, 94 people in 14 states have developed serious lung illnesses potentially linked to e-cigarettes.
Though the agency stipulated that “more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses,” vaping seems to be the common theme that connects states involved in the investigation, including Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Indiana, and Minnesota.
In Wisconsin, where nearly a third of the cases originated, officials say patients reported experiencing shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, and weight loss, with several saying they vaped in the weeks and months prior to hospitalization. However, “vaping” remains an extremely broad term, and it’s not clear whether the products inhaled were nicotine, THC, synthetic cannabinoids, or some combination therein.
In 2018, the number of teens who vaped doubled from the year before, a jump that represented the largest single-year increase in the 44-year history of the survey, which records teen smoking, drinking and drug use.
This widespread love of vaping is causing something of a panic among high school administrators. In Nebraska, one school district has started forcing middle and high school students who want to want to participate in extracurriculars to take random nicotine tests. Schools across the country are installing vape detectors in bathrooms; others are locking their bathroom doors; one removed its bathroom doors.
More likely, the popularity of vaping will only dissipate if the health consequences become real. One reformed Juuler told CBS New York that she vaped for two years, but stopped because of breathing problems.
“I’ll see people on the street and I’ll be like, ah, I wish I had a Juul, but health first,” she said.