Recent Lung Disease Affecting Thousands Across U.S.

Cameron Rockwell, Reporter

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Around the United States, people are being diagnosed with a newly developing lung disease. Medical professionals have found one common thread between all of those diagnosed; vape.

Vaping has a certain reputation amongst Americans, whether it be as a shiny new trend amongst teens or a healthier alternative to cigarettes. According to drugabuse.gov, about 14% of 10th graders and 16.2% of 12th graders vape.

Approximately 1,888 people have been diagnosed with this disease, and 37 of those people have died (as of October 29) according to the CDC. All of these affected individuals vaped. However, the common link goes further than just vape. Almost all of these cases involved vape that had been purchased illegally from unknown or unregulated sources. In other words: black market vape

“What I know about the breakout is that most cases involved some form of black market vape products,” says Steven Hamilton, a Capital High School teacher. This is, in fact, true. From the CDC: “The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.” The CDC also reports that they have not found a definite cause of these illnesses as far as ingredients are concerned. Only that vape is the common thread among all of those affected, and almost all affected got their vape from an unofficiated source. 

How many more people will contract this illness? How many more will die? Noone knows for certain. The only way to stay safe is to avoid vape and THC products in the meantime, even from regulated vendors.