State health department investigates lung disease among e-cig users

State health department investigates lung disease among e-cig users

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Health officials have released a new alert concerning e-cigarettes.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is now investigating cases of severe lung disease in people who use them.

“I read the research papers too on like chances of popcorn lung, other respiratory diseases and all that,” said Jimmy Weeks, an e-cigarette user.

Weeks said he keeps up with the health concerns with vaping, but says using an e-cigarette means he can control the amount of nicotine he consumes.

“With my recent use of vape, I’ve’ been steadily been able to lower the concentration of the nicotine,” Weeks said.

But in recently, the Texas Department of State Health and Services said there has been a spike in severe lung disease found specifically in young adults.

“It seems to be a fairly new phenomenon. We know that there have been other types of illnesses associated with vaping or e-cigs in the past but this seems to be something a bit different,” said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesperson.

Van Deusen said all suspected cases reported vaping with products including nicotine or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

“We know that nicotine which is in many of these vaping products can affect the brain development that continues throughout the teenage years and into the early to mid-20s,” Van Deusen said.

Van Deusen said everyone should be aware of the symptoms of lung disease.

“So things like shortness of breath, other kind of difficulty breathing, severe coughing, fatigue those are kind of the common symptoms,” Van Deusen said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that since June, 94 cases of severe lung disease have been reported in 14 states.

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