CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Many Americans are trying to toss the cigarettes…and move to what they think is better for their health.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more than 150 cases of adolescents with breathing issues related to vaping.
Severe respiratory illnesses have been reported throughout the country among people who have been vaping for weeks or months…and then coming down with health issues. Health officials are trying to pinpoint the exact cause—something more than vaping in general.
“We encourage people who, – to seek medical help if they think that they’re being affected by their vape products. The CDC investigation has not identified yet, a single product or compound, that is linked to all cases,” said Paula Collier, Health Promotion Manager at the Chattanooga, Hamilton County Health Department.
That’s why if you’re experiencing symptoms, the Tennessee Department of Health asks that you see your Dr. and that those cases be reported as soon as possible. So, What are the symptoms?
“Symptoms are: cough, shortness of breath with fatigue, um, fever, chest pain, um, and nausea and diarrhea,” said Ms. Collier.
And if you do go visit your health care provider because you’re experiencing these symptoms in relation to a vaping product, they ask that you take an unused sample of that product so that it can be tested.
“Vape products are unregulated, so unfortunately if you’re using these products, you’re taking a big risk, the vape products contain chemicals and heavy metals, and they are not safe,” said Ms. Collier.
So, although the link has been made to vaping in general, Ms. Collier says the CDC study will seek to narrow down the cause of the respiratory illnesses.
“We know that it’s vaping related, and we hope that the CDC investigation is able to uncover more specifics. For example, um, specific product, or dose, or usage or pattern,” said Ms. Collier.
The health department stresses that this is a CDC public health study and not a police investigation, so patients should not fear bringing their vaping products, no matter what they contain, in for testing.
And there’s also a warning for parents of teens.
“While the age range is fairly broad, most of the cases are occurring in otherwise young, healthy people,” said Ms. Collier.