A resident of Illinois died after being hospitalized for vape lung damage. State investigators declined to name the victim, but the death follows hundreds of vaping-related hospitalizations for pneumonia-like systems and respiratory failure.
Does Vaping Cause Lung Damage?
Despite being promoted by the vaping industry as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, there is mounting evidence that vapor from vape devices can lead to lung damage and disease. Studies are ongoing to determine how dangerous vaping is compared to smoking, but no long term evidence yet exists given the novelty of these devices.
Multiple studies subjecting mice to vapor smoke found the symptoms and conditions in the lungs mimicked those found with exposure to cigarette smoke. In some cases, the results of inflammation and irritation were worse for vape exposure than from traditional cigarette smoke exposure.
Case studies of respiratory failure after vaping, mimicking a non-infectious case of pneumonia, go back as far as 2015. Acute Lipoid Pneumonia was discovered in a women in West Virginia, who had to be intubated due to acute respiratory distress syndrome from vaping.
What is Popcorn Lung?
Broncholitis Obliterans, or popcorn lung, occurs when the bronchioles are permanently scarred after acute inflammation. Over time, as the scarring builds, it can shrink the open pathways in bronchial tubes leaving victims unable to fully breathe. Popcorn lung can be fatal.
Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, or wet lung, occurs when there is inflammation in the lungs from chemical exposure or allergic reactions. A teen was treated for wet lung after vaping, causing respiratory failure that could have lead to death.