What has been portrayed as a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes has become a threatening epidemic sweeping America.

The American Medical Association is urging the public to stop vaping as the number of lung-related illnesses skyrocket as a result of using nicotine and THC vapes. As of this week, there have been more than 450 possible cases of lung illness in the U.S. reported to the CDC, along with six deaths caused by lung disease due to vaping.

People, especially teenagers, are being hospitalized at alarming rates and requiring intensive care and life support due to mysterious lung illnesses. In a survey conducted in 2018 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 37.3 percent of 12th-graders disclosed either vaping nicotine or THC within the past 12 months. That number is almost a 10 percent increase compared to a reported 27.8 percent in 2017. In a similar study conducted by the NIH, 66.6 percent of 8th to 10th-graders claimed vaping devices were “very easy” to get. Companies like Juul and Phix have been under fire for seemingly targeting youth with fruit-flavored vaping liquid, and small, inconspicuous devices easily accessible from gas stations and corner stores.

“If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop. The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify,” said Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  


People who use e-cigarette products should closely monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of lung illness, and seek medical attention immediately if experiencing any of the following:

  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • chest pain and pressure
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • fever
  • persistent cough

If you or someone you know are experiencing lung-related symptoms, Oklahoma ER & Hospital is ready to help. For medical assistance please visit our facility on North Pennsylvania Avenue, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

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