STOCKTON — Medical professionals across the country are urging people to put down the vape as the CDC released new findings about the dangers of e-cigarettes.
Officials say 450 people in 33 states diagnosed with respiratory problems linked to vaping.
“The epidemic of vaping has really been a recent phenomenon,” Dr. Tom Dailey, Chief of Critical Care and Pulmonary at Kaiser Permanente, told FOX40. “As more and more people are being exposed, we think that is why we’re now starting to see these acute lung injuries.”
Dailey says vaping as a practice isn’t new, but the popularity of the drug has soared to new heights in the last year or so.
And the effects can be deadly — with five reported vaping-related deaths this year alone — and it’s still too early to tell just what ingredients are the most dangerous.
“There is a theory showing increased levels of Vitamin E acetate in eight of the cases but it’s still too early to tell what’s going on. There’s also another theory that the heated coils are releasing metal particulates that can then be inhaled,” Dailey said.
Filmmaker Chris Schueler says he spotted the problem before it became an epidemic.
It’s why he spent the last two years creating a documentary highlighting how dangerous vaping can be, especially for young people
“I think what we’re seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the dangers,” Schueler said.
He held a screening of his film “Vape” for dozens of University of the Pacific students Friday evening, some of whom say they’ve tried vaping themselves.
“I have a lot of friends who vape and think it’s safe,” student James Hborabe said.
Students say learning more about the risks involved helps them avoid the temptation.
“They don’t even know what’s in the juice and it’s not from a reliable source, which makes it even more dangerous to consume it,” Hborabe said.
Schueler’s goal being — if fewer young people breathe in the drug, fewer will exhale the potentially deadly consequences.
“I think when they see [the film], they’re going to understand and take it to heart and hopefully not vape,” Schueler said.