LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Health officials in California and other states are sounding the alarm about vaping after multiple people have ended up in the emergency room with vaping-related illnesses — like lung damage.
Those same officials said they are trying to get the word out that dozens of serious lung injuries have been reported across the state, injuries that they believed to be caused by vaping.
Ventura County’s health department just referred two cases to the state that they believe could be vape-related severe respiratory disease.
“Certainly there is short-term lung damage that’s been reported to be associated with vaping,” Robert Levin, Ventura County public health officer, said.
Across California, 38 potential cases of acute lung disease among people with a recent history of vaping have been identified since late June. Health officials said whether the user is vaping tobacco products or marijuana, potential dangers exist.
“We have no idea what kind of chemicals that these flavorants turn into when they’re ignited in a vaping device,” Levin said.
The state launched a new marketing campaign that spotlights the dangerous side effects of nicotine. The ads are just one part of a campaign targeting teens. According to recent surveys, e-cigarette use among teens is growing.
The Federal Trade Commission is also stepping in. The commission is reportedly investigating Juul Labs, the company that dominates the e-cigarette market. CEO Kevin Burns spoke with CBS about the widespread use of Juul e-cigarettes by young people.
“I think the problem is big,” he said. “It’s big, and concerning and needs to be a lot lower than it is today.”
The state is also warning of dangers for customers who buy vaping devices from pop-up stores, or from unlicensed marijuana dispensaries.