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Florida Teen Diagnosed with Serious Lung Disease After Three Months of Vaping

Teen holding vape in hand with smoke surrounding the mouthpiece  

Most states around the country are calling on more regulations regarding vaping, citing a string of recent incidents of illnesses and even deaths thought to be linked to vaping, especially among young people. In Florida, officials are calling youth vaping an epidemic with more kids Juuling and using similar devices. While the long-term effects of vaping on the lungs aren’t known yet, what officials and medical professionals are seeing is the short-term effects on the lungs after Juuling.

A Jacksonville teen named Dallas Pantazi was recently hospitalized at Wolfson Children’s Hospital because of the trauma vaping is believed to have caused to his body. Dallas’ mother said she had no idea her son was vaping. Both Dallas and his 18-year-old sister were using the Juul device, which many say started the phenomenon of vaping among teens.

Dallas and his sister were using mint-flavored Juul pods purchased from a gas station near their home, according to their mother. Dallas was vaping for around three months, and now he’s been diagnosed with pneumomediastinum. Since he has asthma and was constantly vaping, the chemicals in the vape liquid created holes in his lungs. The holes then lead to air surrounding the lungs leading to episodes of severe coughing and the feeling of stabbing pain around the lungs.

Incidences of Vaping Disease & Deaths Increase

Thus far, Juul lung damage and lung damage linked to other types of vaping products have made an estimated 1,000 people sick in the U.S. Vaping deaths per year aren’t fully known yet, but the total number of deaths possibly believed to be linked to vaping is around 30. Last December, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory about youth vaping. At the same time, according to United States Public Health Service Secretary Alex Azar, there has never been such a rapid rise in the use of any substance among American youth as there is with vaping and e-cigarette use.

In April, the Florida Department of Health said there was a reported 57% increase in the use of e-cigarettes among high school students in the state between 2017 and 2018. The report went on to say that around one in four high school students in Florida admits to vaping.

Teen Vaping Often Goes Unnoticed

The effects of Juuling on teens are just starting to gain widespread attention, and many teens, as well as their parents and school officials, don’t necessarily understand how dangerous it is. Often young people who are using Juuls and similar devices may think it’s just flavored vapor when, in reality, these are synthetic chemicals being delivered directly to the lungs.

Vaping Ban Aims to Reduce Use Among Teens

There has been recent controversy surrounding Juul marketing to minors. The company’s initial advertising campaigns for their flavored products seemed to many as if they were specifically targeting the youth. President Trump and others around the country are now calling on stricter vaping laws, and some even want a full vape ban. President Trump recently announced a plan to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products since these are the options so popular among young people.

Currently, under Florida vaping laws, it’s illegal to sell these products to anyone under the age of 18. However, as is the case with things like alcohol and traditional cigarettes, this doesn’t necessarily keep them out of the hands of young people who have older friends or family members who buy them. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction concerning vaping, reach out to Next Generation Village. Help is here.

Sources:

Bloch, Emily. “Florida teen hospitalized with holes in his lungs after three months of vaping.” The Palm Beach Post, September 13, 2019. Accessed October 17, 2019.

Kelland, Kate. “Vaping illness, deaths likely very rare beyond U.S. experts say.” Reuters, October 14, 2019. Accessed October 17, 2019.

Associated Press. “Washington issues flavored vaping ban, joining other states.” CNBC, September 27, 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019.

Goodman, Cindy Krischer. “Vaping triggers health issues for Florida teens.” South Florida Sun Sentinel, August 31, 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019.

Oster, Erik. “Juul Halts Most U.S. Advertising After Spending $104 Million in First Half of 2019.” Adweek, September 25, 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019.

Miller, Daylina. “Florida Vaping Ban Takes Effect July 1.” WUSF Public Media, June 25, 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019.

LaVita, Angelica. “Trump Administration Readies Ban on Flavored e-Cigarettes Amid Outbreak of Vaping-Related Deaths.” CNBC, September 11, 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019.

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