Media channels have been covering the vaping epidemic for months now, In October, after Michigan became the first state to ban e-juice flavors, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also revealed some startling statics about the negative effects of vaping. The CDC has reported that not only are people developing lung illness, but they have also confirmed there have been over 1,000 deaths specifically from vaping.
The Black Market
With all the information that is coming forth due to vaping, there has also been more data concerning tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, being vaped. THC has been added to e-juice that could smell like strawberry or bubble gum, rather than a skunk, to conceal that it is actually marijuana. Most THC vaping pods are sold on the black market. With marijuana legal in 11 states and 33 states having comprehensive medical cannabis laws, there seem to be more people buying THC vaping pods on the black market instead of legally. These black market pods are easier to find and are less expensive making them a hot commodity especially among teens.
The Lung Illnesses
As of early November, more cases of lung disease and deaths have continued to increase especially in the case of THC vaping pods. An ingredient that has been potentially linked to the outbreak, and is known to improve self-care, has been found to be harmful to vape. Vitamin E Acetate, a cosmetic ingredient that is used for skincare benefits, has been isolated in the lungs of those who were admitted to a hospital or urgent care for the symptoms of mysterious illnesses. Their findings were that lung illness was the cause making them use ventilators for breathing, or worse die.
More awareness needs to take place to get the word out that these black market THC vaping pods are causing an epidemic of lung injury and death. According to the CDC, 79 percent of all patients are under the age of 35 and 86 percent are reported to use marijuana pods to vape. Although they have determined Vitamin E Acetate is a harmful component to inhale, there are more unknown sellers with unregulated and unknown chemicals that are still being packaged and sold as a potential death sentence for the next person who vapes.
As the CDC continues to update their information on a day to day basis, we have an opportunity to protect our teens, or anyone of any age, through educating ourselves with the dangers of vaping. Parents need to be on high alert since there is still more research and regulation that needs to happen in order to make a difference in the vaping epidemic.
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