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Vaping has become ubiquitous in the United States—particularly among teenagers and young adults. In fact, between 2017 and 2018, the usage of e-cigarettes among high school students nearly doubled. Though vaping is not strictly limited to young people, among teenagers and young adults, vaping is seen as fashionable and in trend with popular culture. Vaping companies have realized that their primary consumers are teenagers and young adults. As a result, these companies have been marketing directly towards these age groups by providing fruit-flavored e-cigarettes and portraying vaping as the activity cool people engage in. To convince more individuals to vape, some companies like Juul Labs have commonly stated that vaping is a completely safe alternative to cigarettes.
While vaping may have originally been seen as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, this is no longer the case. Recently, 57 cases of lung illness linked to vaping have been reported in California. In fact, the first death linked to vaping in California occurred just within this month. California is not the only state to have experienced a spike in illnesses linked to vaping. The Centers of Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have been investigating around 450 possible cases of illness linked to vaping across 33 states. The CDC has also confirmed five deaths associated with vaping. Though these agencies have not directly linked vaping to the cause of the illnesses, they noted that all of these cases involved individuals who vape over long periods of time.
Though the CDC has yet to directly link vaping with the recent spike of lung illnesses among vapers, it has issued a warning and urged people who engage in vaping to stop.
Furthermore, as announced on September 11th, 2019, the Trump administration is moving forward with a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, making it illegal to sell them nationwide. If you currently vape, we recommend that you stop vaping immediately until the health authorities discover the cause of the recent spike in lung illness associated with vape users.
Symptoms of a Vaping Related Illness
Seven symptoms have been observed in many of the patients afflicted with the recent lung illness associated with vaping. Below is a list of these symptoms and a description of each.
Shortness of Breath
Because we all take breathing for granted, trouble breathing can lead to extreme panic. Many of the vaping patients who have been afflicted with the recent lung illness have had shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is medically known as dyspnea, which can be literally translated to “painful breath.” However, in laymen terms, shortness of breath can be described in several ways.
Some doctors describe it is a symptom in which one feels a tight sensation in the chest. Others describe it as a symptom where one feels suffocated or “hungry” for air. However, you should realize that vaping is not the only possible cause of shortness of breath. Extreme exercise, high temperatures, and high altitudes can cause shortness of breath even if you are a healthy individual. Obesity is also another possible cause of shortness of breath. If you vape and can rule out these other causes for any shortness of breath you may be experiencing, it is advisable to seek medical attention.
Coughing is another symptom of the lung illness affecting hundreds of vaping patients across the nation. Generally, coughs are supposed to help you by getting rid of harmful objects inside your lung and windpipe like dirt or food. However, coughs can also be a sign of lung inflammation, which may be caused by vaping.
Keep in mind that common allergies and sicknesses can also cause coughing, so just because you cough after vaping, it does not necessarily mean it’s a vape related cough. If you vape, but have not been recently sick with the flu and do not have allergies or asthma, you may want to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause of your cough.
Because the term chest pain encompasses all sorts of pain in the chest, it is difficult to know whether a vaping patient who has chest pain has chest pain because he or she vapes or because of some other underlying cause. However, chest pain has been found in many of the recent vaping patients. Therefore, if you vape and have been recently suffering from chest pain, you should go visit a doctor. Chest pains can be dull and persistent, or they may be quick spikes of pain. Sometimes, chest pains can make you feel like your chest is being crushed.
In severe chest pain cases, the chest pain can travel up to your neck or even to your jaw and arms. There are numerous causes of chest pains. However, your chest pain may not be related to your lungs if your chest pain disappears if you change your body position. In any case, chest pain can be a sign of a serious medical issue, so whether you vape or not, you should visit the hospital if you have chest pains that do not go away.
Nausea & Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting often come in pairs. Nausea is generally described as the feeling in your stomach that makes you want to throw up. Nausea and vomiting can have many causes, so just because you vape does not mean that if you have nausea and/or vomiting, your vaping is the cause.
If you are suffering from nausea and/or vomiting and you cannot spot another cause besides vaping, you may wish to seek medical attention.
Vaping patients have also been observed to have had fevers. If you have a fever, it simply means that you have a body temperature that is higher than the normal body temperature, which is around 98.6 Fahrenheit. Note that a fever is not a disease itself. Generally, a fever is a sign that your body is fighting against an infection or illness. Because vaping patients have been known to have fevers, be wary of fever-like symptoms that may be attributable to vaping-related illness.
Many articles and online blogs have touted vaping as a surefire way to lose weight. However, the same can be said of smoking traditional cigarettes. Nicotine, the addictive, psychoactive chemical in cigarettes and vapes has powerful appetite suppressant effects. This means that you while regularly intaking nicotine, you will be hungry less frequently, and when you do get hungry it will be to a lesser extent. Then, over time, by eating less, users will lose weight. This is not a healthy way to lose weight for most people, as it can lead to undereating, loss of desirable muscle tissue along with undesirable body fat, and malnutrition.
You should consider that vaping can cause you to absorb a much higher rate of nicotine than smoking a traditional cigarette. In fact, 200 puffs of a Juul e-cigarette would cause you to absorb many times the amount of nicotine as you would if you smoked twenty traditional cigarettes. This can greatly exacerbate the negative side effects of nicotine.
While weight loss due to vaping is not necessarily indicative of lung disease, the malnutrition that nicotine contributes to may make you more susceptible to illness.
Potential Causes of the Illness
First, it is important to note that vaping has not been proven to be much safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. When you vape, you are heating a liquid that contains a number of chemicals, which includes propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Though these chemicals may be safe when they are ingested through foods, there is evidence that suggests that these chemicals are harmful when they are inhaled. There are often harmful chemicals inside e-cigarettes as well. For instance, some e-cigarettes use flavoring chemicals like diacetyl, which is a chemical linked to lung disease. Other e-cigarettes contain benzene, which is found in car exhaust.
Some experts state that the recent spike in lung illness associated with vape users is because of the chemicals inside e-cigarettes. One common theory is that Vitamin E within the vape fluid is greatly contributing to the illness. They state that when chemicals from an e-cigarette are inhaled, the body’s immune system responds to the chemicals by inflaming the lungs. The inflammation can cause the body to suffer a pneumonia-like illness, which can lead to death.
What to Do If You Suspect Your Illness is Vaping Related
If you frequently vape and you are currently suffering from the symptoms listed above, you should visit the hospital right away. A doctor will be able to properly examine your lungs and diagnose your treatment.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I get Sick from Vaping?
You may be entitled to compensation from a vape manufacturer if you or your child have suffered an illness from vaping. Recently, lawsuits have been filed against the popular vape manufacturer Juul for allegedly selling a product that it knew was dangerous, yet advertising that its e-cigarettes were safe for consumption. Furthermore, lawsuits have been filed against Juul for advertising to minors in a deceptive manner. If you feel that you or your child may have been injured by e-cigarette usage, you may have a potential claim. Please consult a lawyer for more information.
Tell Zinda Law Group About Your Ailment
If you find that you have a vaping related illness, Zinda Law Group may be able to help with a potential lawsuit. We aim to hold responsible parties accountable for the damage that you may have sustained from their products.
For a free consultation, call Zinda Law Group at 512 246 2224. If we are unable to win your case, you don’t pay us anything.
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