EVALI: Can Vaping Kill You?


Vape illness seemed to go away after COVID hit. Are these the same illness? Can vaping kill you? By the end of the peak of the mysterious vape illness, vaping accounted for fifty-nine deaths in the United States, according to the New York Times. Add to that – 2807 hospitalizations. The mystery of which products are potentially causing these problems, and whether vaping can kill you, continues to plague health officials. Although e-cigarette and vape associated lung injury (EVALI ) abated, it remains a mystery that needs to be solved. Medical researchers focused their investigation on several cannabis-related vaping products. It’s important to note, however, that some hospitalized patients only smoked e-cigarettes. A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that only 87 percent of patients with lung injuries in Wisconsin and Illinois, for example, had used vaping products containing THC. The rest used tobacco vape, exclusively. Importantly, the problem seems to be associated with diluents, particularly vitamin E acetate. So, while the data pointed to cannabis vapes as the key culprit, it’s clear that other vape and e-cigarette consumers may also become lung injured. Was EVALI Just Early COVID?   One theory that emerged shortly after the pandemic was declared in March 2020, was that EVALI cases were actually early, undetected instances of COVID-19.  Importantly, these diseases are not related and here’s how we know. Firstly, things peaked for EVALI in about October 2019, well before the start of the COVID pandemic. In fact, the first American COVID-19 patient wasn’t reported until January 2020 – a 35-year old patient in Snohomish County, Washington. Initially, the mysterious vaping illness was a well documented feature in mass media. But, just as suddenly as the disease caught headlines, it disappeared from front pages. While it’s true that symptoms of EVALI…

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