Two cases of lung disease in Salt Lake County may be related to vaping

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Recently five Utahns were sent to the hospital who used vaping products. Two of those cases occurred in Salt Lake County according to Salt Lake County Health Department.

The Utah Departmartment of Health’s Keegan McCaffrey said all of the patients were teens to young adults who were admitted within the last couple weeks.

“We have a number of cases of people who have all reported the same exposure, vaping, and we also know that these are really serious lung disease conditions that they have,” he said.

UDOH officials said all of the patients had severe lung issues related to vaping or other inhalational drugs.

Doctors say the symptoms range from coughing and vomiting to respiratory distress where some didn’t have the adequate levels of oxygen in their blood.

“And so, these people were hospitalized, many were put on ventilators, there could be long term health effects due to these – whatever was causing them to get sick,” McCaffrey said.

The Center for Disease Control is investigating how nearly 100 people got sick from a mysterious lung disease across 14 states which may be linked to vaping.

Grant Hiller the owner of iVape says customers need to educate themselves on what they are inhaling.

“For me personally, I want to make sure every ingredient I’m aware of. I want to make sure the manufacturer is legit, has an online presence that is reputable, and really what is going in that product,” said Hiller. “It would be nice to know exactly where or how it relates and if it relates to e-cigarettes at all. Again, it could relate to marijuana, it could relate to CBD, there are multiple things that go into an e-cigarette or a vape device.”

Hiller said it’s important to know if the company making e-juice is following the FDA process and applying for a Premarket Tobacco Application.

“It is definitely essential to know exactly the product that you are putting in your body that you are purchasing,” he said. “There is a quality product that you would never have to worry about.”

“There aren’t a whole lot of studies about what is exactly in the product, how they affect the human body, the type of damage they can produce,” said Ryan Bartlett, with the Utah Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

State officials have a different perspective on the subject because of the marketing of the products.

“So, for example, JUUL and some other vape manufacturers try to kind of link their products as a type of sensation device and that is something we would also like to proceed with caution about,” said Barlett.

The caution comes because experts say teens and young adults don’t have a fully developed brain until the age of 25.

“So people who are using vape products before that age are at much risk for long term illnesses, addiction to other drugs, and things like that from using this product,” he said.

Doctors say if you are suffering any type of respiratory issues from using e-cigarettes or vaping to seek medical help right away.

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