Another teen is facing dire consequences of vape usage. Towards the end of last month, Adam Hergenreder’s e-cigarette habits almost brought him to an early grave when the 18 year old from Gurnee, Illinois, ended up in hospital. After just one and a half years of vaping, his lungs are now essentially like a 70 year old’s.
“It was scary to think about that; that little device did that to my lungs,” said Adam.
This is just one of several hundred cases across the United States where vaping has led to an unidentified lung illness, mostly in young people. Pushing for better regulations, Trump’s administration is looking to ban flavored vaping products from the market, leaving just regular tobacco flavour.
“Why is that important? We are seeing an absolute surge in high school and middle school kids using these flavored products,” stated Alex Azar, United States Health and Human Services Secretary. “Mint, menthol, fruit flavor, alcohol flavor, bubble gum.”
Adam is concerned that his lungs will never fully recover and that he might not be able to get back to wrestling.
“I was a varsity wrestler before this and I might not ever be able to wrestle because that’s a very physical sport and my lungs might not be able to hold that exertion. It’s sad,” says Adam.
Vaping illness “outbreak”
According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are close to 500 cases of lung related illness linked to vaping usage in the United States. Six deaths associated with e-cigarettes have also been confirmed in California, Oregon, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Kansas.
“We must act swiftly against flavored e-cigarette products that are especially attractive to children,” says Dr. Ned Sharpless, acting FDA Commissioner. “The tremendous progress we’ve made in reducing youth tobacco use in the U.S is jeopardized by this onslaught of e-cigarette use. Nobody wants to see children becoming addicted to nicotine, and we will continue to use the full scope of our regulatory authority thoughtfully and thoroughly to tackle this mounting public health crisis.”