Erie County now seeing hospitalizations due to vaping

Local News

The CDC has released an investigation notice stating more than 450 medical issues have been tied to e-cigarettes. UPMC Hamot has seen about three of these cases.

One vape store manager is speaking out saying the vape liquid isn’t the problem, but what individuals are putting in the vape or e-cigarette.

Dr. Stephen Kovacs of the UPMC Hamot Comprehensive Lung Cancer says vaping has not only become an issue with adults but children as well.

“We’re seeing this as a problem among many age groups,” Kovacs said. “We’re dealing with issues like increasing nicotine dependence, but we’re also starting to see findings of lung injury leading to vaping cases.”

Dr. Kovacs says these issues begin with how the lungs were designed. He says that because our lungs were designed to inhale air only, when putting a vape or vape flavor in them, they’re going to react.

“Typically, these are inflammatory, irritating and allergic reactions,” Kovacs said. “In some people, very mild and some very severe changes in the lungs that we can see relate to the lungs that can occur very quickly.”

Jeanette Girosky of the Hippie and the Hound believes some of the problems with vaping may come from consumers trying to put diluted THC products in the vape. She added that THC oil is not as thick as vaping fluid, as a thickening agent is put in the oil.

“If you vape one of these oils, it’s going to coat the lungs,” Girosky said. “Then, the cells can not get any oxygen and the cells, then that’s it.”

Girosky says with the Trump administration calling for a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes, this will lead to more issues.

“All that’s going to do is drag the industry underground,” Girosky said. “You’ll have people making e-juice in their bathtub.”

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