Our Health Evaporating


Savanna Eickerman

Juul packaging warns about the dangers of nicotine.

A new lung disease has started to plague the U.S. and is beginning to worry many people. While specifics have not been identified, healthcare providers and researchers have linked vaping as one of the leading causes.

This is especially worrisome for college students because according to ScienceAlert, a site dedicated to research, the age range for this outbreak is anywhere from 17 to 38 years old. This range also happens to be similar to the ages of people taking college courses here at EvCC.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 19 people have died from vaping-related illnesses and over 1,080 people have been hospitalized.  

While the exact source of the disease has yet to be found, many people who have been hospitalized have confirmed that they have used products that contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component in marijuana that gives the feeling of a high. Some have also claimed that illegal substances such as “dank weed” had been used by some of the patients prior to being hospitalized.

AMTEC student, Joe Venable, who enjoyed building vape coils in the past, said the main problem is with black market THC. “The media is focused on showing nicotine as the cause,” he said, “but the real issue is the illegal black market products.”

Venable believes that if people stayed away from buying things off the street, they would be a lot safer. “The real danger is the fact that it’s easy to produce under-the-counter.” He suggests that if people research their products and educate themselves, there wouldn’t be such a need to be concerned. The main goal is to stop people from buying questionable products that they don’t know anything about.

Many claim that vaping is okay because it is supposedly safer than cigarettes. However, we are only now scratching the surface to what effects vaping may cause.  

According to Heather Marrs, an anatomy and physiology instructor, “just because [smoking] is in a new form, does not mean it’s not harmful.” Some of the symptoms of this new disease, provided by the online research and treatment site, WebMD,  include shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting after vaping. These symptoms can be caused by the inflammation of a person’s lungs. Some cases are so severe that their lungs even begin to bleed.

A man vaping.                                                                               Savanna Eikerman

A large portion of people began vaping because they believed it was safer than cigarettes, while others started because they believed it was a new and cool trend. There are a lot of ingredients involved in the making of vapes and all of the parts to it. Before vaping, people don’t usually take the time to research what it is they are inhaling. On authority of the Smoking and Health department of the CDC, there are a lot of small ingredients in vapes and e-cigarettes that could harm a person’s body. Some of these things include cancer-causing chemicals, lead and volatile compounds.  

While the usage of vapes can be worrying, “we exercise free will [on this campus],” said Marrs. “People make their own choices. We can only hope they make good ones.”

To ensure the safety of all students, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms after vaping, please contact the CDC and visit your nearest healthcare facility.