Colorado health officials this week confirmed a case of “sudden and severe” lung illness linked to vaping.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) confirmed the case Thursday, not long after Tista Ghosh, the department’s chief medical officer, told Fox News officials were investigating a suspected case.
The case marks the state’s first. A second suspected case is under investigation.
In a statement provided to Fox News, officials said the confirmed case was first reported Tuesday. At least one person has been hospitalized as a result. Further details on the patient’s location, age and current condition were not provided.
Though it’s not yet clear what may behind the illnesses, CDPHE officials noted vaping products “contain more than just harmless water vapor,” adding, “the agents causing this illness could possibly be pesticide contamination, residual solvent contamination, additives with unknown inhalation effects, or heavy metals contamination inhaled from vaping products.”
“This is a serious situation, and people who vape should be on high alert, as should medical providers treating patients who vape.”
Colorado joins a seemingly growing list of states where vaping-related illnesses have been reported. Young people have primarily been affected.
In fact, some 153 cases have prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch a formal investigation to determine what exactly is causing the pulmonary illnesses.
Patients reported similar symptoms – shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and vomiting in some cases – and some were admitted to the intensive care unit. Teens across the states reported using vaping devices for both nicotine and THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high” sensation, prior to their hospitalization.
One Florida teen said his lung collapsed due to vaping, while another in Texas is recovering after spending 18 days in the hospital after he also suffered from a collapsed lung doctors think was caused by vaping.
“This is a serious situation, and people who vape should be on high alert, as should medical providers treating patients who vape,” Ghosh said in a statement. “Since the department has been actively notifying providers and hospitals of the symptoms, we expect we may get more reported cases.”
Though e-cigarettes are often touted as a “safer” alternative to cigarettes, a recent study found that may not be true.
The study, led by University of Pennsylvania researchers, claimed there are damaging effects on a user’s blood vessels after just one use.