The FDA is weighing a crackdown on flavored vapes as more people are suffering from respiratory illnesses linked to e-cigarette usage. Seven people are now reported dead, including one from Illinois.
The exact cause of the illnesses aren’t clear, but Dr. Sigrid Wolf of Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago said there are significant risks, especially for young people.
“So many kids feel like, wow, I’m just breathing a flavored steam, so what’s the harm? But these actually have very high concentrations of nicotine," she said.
She says one Juul pod has the same nicotine content as a pack of cigarettes. She said that makes them highly addictive, especially for teenage brains still undergoing development.
27.5 percent of teens reported using vapes in the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey. That’s a nearly 7 percent jump from 2018. This growth comes as usage of cigarettes and other tobacco products has decreased.
Dr. Wolf said it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about vaping as teen usage increases at a rapid pace.
“I think the other most important thing is to give kids credit and have an open and honest conversation about why you don’t want them to vape and what we know about the consequences of it," Wolf said.
Aside from the illnesses and deaths making the news, she said vaping can lead to coughing, wheezing, asthma exacerbation, and negative impacts on the heart and blo0d circulation.
She said she supports more research on vaping's health impacts.