Ashley Moody Warns of Teens Encountering Breathing Problems After Vaping

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody warned parents and teens on Monday about a new health scare.

Reports are emerging of Florida teens being rushed to the hospital with COVID-19 like symptoms after using e-cigarette products—some having to be placed on ventilators. The patients test negative for the novel coronavirus, however they vape. Health experts are concerned that the underaged use of e-cigarettes may be exacerbating the COVID-19 crisis—potentially putting minors who vape at an increased risk of complications from the virus.

Even before COVID-19 spread into Florida, underage vaping was a growing problem. The Florida Department of Health recently announced 119 cases of vaping-related pulmonary illnesses statewide, and it was reported just last month, that teens were being hospitalized in the Orlando area with COVID-19 like symptoms that proved to be unrelated to COVID, but rather, were the effects of vaping.

“These reports are extremely concerning. Most Americans are paying extra attention to their health right now and taking steps to avoid contracting COVID-19. We know that most young people are not as susceptible to some of the more serious effects of the virus unless they have a preexisting condition. But, for teens who vape, we are now hearing that vaping may cause damage to their young lungs and is even more devastating when combined with COVID-19,” Moody said on Monday.

“I am a mother. This is scary stuff. Please talk to your kids about the COVID-19 pandemic and how vaping may put them at increased risk of suffering the more harmful effects of the novel coronavirus. Let them know that kids their age are being rushed to the hospital not because of COVID-19—but because of vaping. Also, take the time to talk to them about addiction and how nicotine can be habit forming. This conversation may be more important now than ever before,” Moody added.

Dr. Jenna Wheeler, a pediatric critical care physician at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, also weighed in on the matter.

“Over the past several weeks, we have seen a substantial rise in teen vaping related cases in our hospital that have resulted in critical lung injuries. It is especially important during these stressful times that parents talk to their children and educate them on the dangers and potentially life-threatening side effects of vaping. It is absolutely more dangerous than most people think,” Wheeler said.

According to a 2019 Florida Department of Health report, e-cigarette use among Florida high school students increased 63 percent from 2017 to 2018. The report indicates that nearly one in four Florida high school students now admits to vaping. Another study found two-thirds of young people did not know that certain vaping products contained nicotine.

Moody has been active in warning about teens using e-cigarettes including having:

  • Announced Florida is leading a 39-state coalition of attorneys general in investigating the vaping company, JUUL;
  • Launched the most comprehensive state vaping investigation publicly acknowledged to date—looking into the marketing and selling practices of e-cigarette products by more than 20 companies selling in Florida;
  • Joined 42 attorneys general in urging leading streaming companies to limit tobacco imagery content on their platforms; and
  • Embarked on a statewide fact-gathering mission to determine the cause and solutions for the teen-vaping epidemic in Florida.

Last week, Moody filed complaints against two Florida companies selling vaping products in Florida and marketing nicotine products to minors.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. It’s not nicotine liquid causing this lung injury/EVALI problem that has been hospitalizing and killing people. Drug dealers have been adding vegetable oil into the THC liquid they use to fill up the cartridges they sell illegally. Cooking oil works well because it has the same color and viscosity as the THC liquid so they can basically double their profit. Unfortunately, it does far more damage to your lungs than the propylene glycol that’s usually used as a base in THC and nicotine liquid. When it’s heated, the cooking oil vaporizes properly but as it cools down in your lungs it thickens up and sticks to the interior walls causing breathing problems and infection. THC liquid is sometimes referred to as “THC oil” so I’m sure the black market sellers assumed cooking oil would be a safe additive. It’s happening less frequently now that most drug dealers have learned that propylene glycol is just as inexpensive as vegetable oil and won’t send people to the ER. I’ve been vaping for 9 years now and I’ve seen countless people switch back to smoking cigarettes because they don’t understand what’s causing the lung injury.

  2. Bryce is right and let’s not forget that because the marijuana industry is unregulated thc oil is already riddled with butane chemical additives. The problem here is the legality of weed creating an unregulated market. And if we’re going to blame nicotine vape juice here then you can’t tell me these kids would have been better off picking up cigarettes instead… half my high school smoked cigarettes when I was a kid despite its legality.

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