Vaping, e-cigarettes not safe alternative to smoking, health officials warn

Published: Aug. 23, 2019 at 10:47 PM CDT
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Health officials Friday say a patient in Illinois who had a serious lung disease after vaping, has died in what could be the first death in the U.S. linked to smoking alternatives.

With 153 cases of severe lung illnesses linked to vaping across the country, it's already making its way to Kansas. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has two reports of possible cases in the state.

Vaping is a growing trend among teenagers within the past few years. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating what's in e-cigarettes after the report of 153 cases of severe lung illness across the U.S.

Dr. Lauren Ferrell with Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital in El Dorado, says something needs to be done to continue keeping parents and teens informed about the dangers of vaping. The KDHE reports Kansas' two possible cases of severe lung sickness may be due to vaping.

In general, nicotine is never good for you and vaping and e-cigs have been marketed as safer options, the idea being that tobacco is not in it, that it's more safe, and that' s just not true," Ferrell says.

Use of nicotine can increase blood pressure, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Eyewitness News Friday spoke with a Wichita mother who thought vaping and e-cigarettes were a safer option than smoking cigarettes. Now that she hears medical professionals say that's not true, she's concerned for her children's health.

"I'm shocked because I have family members that have actually died from lung cancer, so I definitely will be on more alert," says Teresa Caudillo, a mother of five. "...I think knowledge is power, so I'm definitely going to have more conversations with them for sure."