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Recently, I have been covering ongoing updates regarding the outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, or EVALI, as an alarming number of U.S. vape users fall ill. While the illness case count confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was just under 1,300 on Oct. 14, that number spiked to 1,604 cases on of Oct. 22. In that same eight day span, the death toll rose from 30 to 34.

State health departments across the nation have separately confirmed or are investigating over 2,100 cases, with Alaska being the only state without any reported EVALI patients. While no single product or substance can be associated with every EVALI patient, investigators have found that most of the illnesses are linked to THC-containing products.

More specifically, unregulated bootleg vaping products, which often come from friends, families or dealers, seem to be the culprit in many cases. Investigators believe that an unknown additive or contaminant may be to blame for lung inflammation in patients who use bootleg vapes. Others believe that the devices themselves may be the source of the problem. Some scientists have speculated that technological advances in vaping products (i.e., increased wattage) may be causing vapers to inhale dangerous device metals or other harmful substances.

The long-term consequences of the 10 years of federal inaction that led to this outbreak are likely to be severe. In one study, researchers found that more than 495,000 young people ages 12-29 who had vaped by 2018 will become regular cigarette smokers as a direct result of their vaping-use. This is undeniably alarminging, as health risks associated with cigarette use are well-documented: 1,300 people die every day in the U.S. from first or second-hand cigarette exposure.

It may be even harder to quit vaping than it is to stop smoking cigarettes. While an increasing number of young people are seeking help to quit vaping, many are already addicted and experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. In addition to the strong cravings that come with cigarette withdrawal, vaping has been linked to other withdrawal symptoms including headaches, irritability and a feeling of being “sick to your stomach.” 

If you or a loved one (who was NOT a previous cigarette smoker) developed lung disease such as Bronchiolitis Obliterans due to vaping, contact the injury advocates at Childers, Schlueter, & Smith by calling 800-641-0098 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your legal options. All initial inquiries are free of charge and without obligation.

Please note we are not able to speak or correspond to anyone that is 18 years of age or under. We can and will only legally be allowed to speak with a parent or guardian to ensure COPPA compliance. 

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