BLACKFOOT– Vaping has become a very hot-button topic for many people. Vaping, for those who are unaware, is the term for individuals who use e-cigarettes. Instead of a cigarette paper rolled around a mixture of tobacco and other things, a type of oily liquid is used. The machine that creates the smoke, is a heating coil which heats the oil to a smoke consistency and then the smoke is inhaled and exhaled. It gives the same nicotine addiction. Some e-cigarettes follow the same concept, but do not have as much smoke as those who vape.
Marijuana has become legalized in many states and as such, there is a market for marijuana vape juice. In states that have not legalized marijuana, individuals have been buying their cartridges from secondary sources, which have little to no regulations when manufacturing their product. Some of these illegal secondary sources have tainted products and this is one of the main reasons why individuals are getting sick and in some states dying.
In Idaho, there have been numerous cases of illnesses tied in to the person's vaping. There have been symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. The reports of illnesses have come from teenagers and young adults. The individuals who have become sick have reports vaping days or weeks before becoming very sick.
People from Bingham county have related their opinions on vaping. Many people have had positive experience from their use of vaping. Some have used vaping to stop smoking regular cigarettes, and haven't gone back. Many people who vape know that there are dangers to purchasing knock-offs, many knock-offs have exploded, but the advertisers target group is young adults. The general consensus though is that the government should not be involved in stopping vaping.
The CDC has been investigating the deaths caused by vaping. They recently released their findings for the world to see. There have been over 380 cases of lung illness reported in 36 states and one U.S. territory. Six deaths have been reported so far. All cases have a history of e-cigarette or vaping use. There have been a mixture of products used by patients: including products containing THC, THC and nicotine, and others using only nicotine products. What they don't know is, "the specific cause of these illnesses". The investigation has not identified any specific e-cigarette or vaping product or substance linked to all cases.
The CDC has made some recommendations for individuals who are concerned. Healthcare providers have been updated with specific recommendations. If one is concerned, refrain from using e-cigarette or vaping products. If one is an adult who used e-cigarettes containing nicotine to quit cigarette smoking, do NOT return to smoking cigarettes. If one has recently used a vaping product and have symptoms, go see a healthcare provider. Regardless of the investigation the CDC recommends anyone who uses e-cigarette or vaping product, should not buy their products off the street, and do not modify the products not intended by the manufacturer. Youth and adults should not use e-cigarette products. Pregnant women should not use e-cigarette products. Adults who do not use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarettes.
There are some misconceptions about vaping. Some teens feel vaping is harmless because it doesn't have the same chemicals as regular cigarettes. Most vaping products contain nicotine. Nicotine use, during adolescence, impacts learning, memory, attention, and harms the developing brain. It can also increase risks of future addictions. The kid-friendly flavors are appealing to young kids, and these chemical additives that create the flavors can also have health risks.
When one looks at the reports from the CDC and the illness and deaths being reported in the news, there needs to be a change. Just like cigarettes were considered safe in their beginnings, before research: vaping and e-cigarettes need to be researched more on the effects long term use can have on the body. Regulations by the government should not be considered until extensive research has been made.