BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Vaping has been in the headlines a lot recently after a mysterious vaping related illness has been sickening several people in more than two dozen states.
The State of Michigan even temporarily banned flavored versions of e-cigarettes on Wednesday, citing a public health emergency.
Over 200 cases of serious pulmonary diseases linked to the use of e-cigarettes have been reported across 25 states, including five cases in Maryland.
The exact cause of the disease hasn’t been discovered yet, but a local expert said that there have always been suspicions among doctors that vaping could have harmful health effects.
The Centers for Disease Controls issued a health advisory last week that recommends Americans consider stop using e-cigarettes while it investigates possible cases of respiratory illnesses that happened after the use of e-cigarettes.
Symptoms of the disease include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and vomiting.
Dr. Ziv Gamliel, the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Angelos Center for Lung Diseases said doctors don’t know much about vaping and e-cigarettes now, and are just beginning to learn about them after recent incidents.
“We just don’t know enough about what the chemicals are that are being used in these e-cigarettes. We’re finally starting to see some serious harmful effects of this e-cigareatte use recently with these hundreds of cases of serious pulmonary disease that have surfaced across the United States,” he said.
Gamliel also said doctors do know that e-cigarettes contain a variety of chemicals that can be harmful and addictive.
When people begin vaping they are setting themselves up for an addiction that is going to keep them coming back to e-cigarettes again and again, keep them inhaling many different chemical substances again at least some of which are harmful,” Gamliel said.
The American Vaping Association released a statement recently that said it is much more likely that the products causing lung disease contain THC or illegal drugs and nicotine.
Doctor Gamliel also said that if you don’t smoke already, e-cigarette use is not a safe alternative.