vaping

Stephanie Keith / Getty Images

When vape pens first came out they were marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking. But as more research has been released about the longterm affects of vaping, it’s complicated that narrative. 

Efforts to stem the tide of teen vaping seem to be a step behind the market. By the time Juul pulled most of its flavored pods from the market in October of 2019, many teens had already moved on to an array of newer, disposable vape products.

A health-surveillance system put in place after the terrorist attacks of September 2001 has been used to pinpoint the cause of the vaping-related lung injuries that have killed 54 Americans and sent more than 2,500 people to the hospital.

Using this system, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that the lung injuries rose sharply in June of this year.

pavelkant / stock.adobe.com

When teenagers started showing up at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin with severe lung damage, doctors weren’t sure what to make of it.

Normally, a young, healthy lung would be full of cavernous airways. Instead, doctors found a complex web of gunk filling the chambers of the lungs. It looked like a severe kind a pneumonia, but that diagnosis didn’t make sense. Then, doctors found something linking these teens: they all vaped.

A Juul pod is not an e-cigarette is not a vape pen is not a mod, as any serious vaper can tell you.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there has been a breakthrough in the investigation into the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries that has led to the deaths of 39 people and sickened more than 2,000 others.

Investigators announced Friday that they have detected a chemical compound called vitamin E acetate in all the samples of lung fluid collected from 29 patients who were hospitalized after vaping, suggesting a possible culprit for the spate of lung injuries that has swept across the U.S.

The link between vaping and severe lung problems is getting a lot of attention.

But scientists say they're also worried about vaping's effect on teenage brains.

"Unfortunately, the brain problems and challenges may be things that we see later on down the road," says Nii Addy, associate professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular physiology at Yale School of Medicine.

Piper Johnson was all packed and ready to drive across country with her mom to start college when the 18-year-old noticed a pain in her chest. She took an Advil and hoped the pain would go away.

It didn't. During the drive from her hometown of New Lenox, Ill., near Chicago, to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo., she realized something was very wrong. "I kept feeling worse and worse," Johnson says. She developed a high fever, felt extremely lethargic, and noticed a rapid heart beat.

Public health officials say the number of people who have died or have gotten ill after using e-cigarettes or other vaping products is rising, and they're still trying to figure out why. It's led to plenty of warnings about e-cigarettes and put a spotlight on illegal vaping operations.

Bristol, Wis., is just north of the Wisconsin-Illinois state line. In early September, law enforcement officials conducted a raid at a condo unit located in a winding subdivision of new homes and houses still under construction.

Milwaukee Police Department

A Milwaukee man and woman are accused in an alleged counterfeit THC vape operation.

Police searched a home on Milwaukee's south side last week and uncovered nearly $1 million in cash and more than 10,000 THC vaping cartridges.

According to the complaint, police also found 18 pounds of marijuana in addition to the cartridges filled with THC oil.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention intensified its warnings about the risks of vaping, as the number of patients with vaping-related illness continues to climb.

The case count has reached 1,080, the agency announced Thursday. There have been 18 deaths in 15 states, and more deaths are being investigated. All patients reported a history of vaping, and the majority reported using THC-containing products.

The mystery of the outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses is still not solved.

But investigators in Illinois and Wisconsin have found some clues, they announced Friday in a press briefing.

Investigators in these two states conducted detailed interviews with 86 patients — mostly young men — and 66% said they had vaped THC products labeled as Dank Vapes. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

What are Dank Vapes and how could they be fueling the outbreak?

Updated on Sept. 27 at 7:06 p.m. ET to reflect the latest information from federal agencies

An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of electronic cigarettes continues to spread to new patients and states.

KENOSHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

A Wisconsin man has been formally charged with manufacturing thousands of vaping cartridges laced with THC oil and selling them.

Prosecutors say the man ran a massive illegal operation out of his home in Kenosha County.

READ: Wisconsin Man Accused Of Making Illegal Vaping Cartridges

Tyler Huffhines is charged with maintaining a drug house and three counts of possession with intent to deliver THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Potency Of Wisconsin THC Cartridges May Be Higher Than Claim

Sep 11, 2019
Kenosha County Sheriff's Department

A Wisconsin operation that manufactured thousands of vaping cartridges a day may have been packing them with far more THC oil than the packaging claimed, authorities said Wednesday.

The revelation Wednesday from the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office underscores warnings that people who buy vaping products on the street don't know what they're getting. Officials are investigating 450 possible cases in 33 states where vaping was linked to a severe lung disease. The outbreak has killed as many as six people nationwide.

Pages