There have been about 150 recent cases of unexplained lung disease in youth who have recently vaped, and it has experts concerned. Currently, it does not seem like a disease is being spread around, though the cases have been only across 16 states. At this time, it is not known if the electronic devices are causing the long issues or if it the liquid going into the devices. The major issue with vaping liquids is that there are no regulations. The illness, though, has not been limited to nicotine or to THC, indicating that is likely the device or the mixing agent used in both liquids. Heavy metals are inhaled because of the coils being burnt through these devices, which could be a factor to this unexplained lung disease.
The FDA has policy that allows for it to regulate all tobacco products, but given that e-liquids are not tobacco products, there is no official regulation. Though working on policy and procedure, it will not be for a while until the FDA mandates that e-liquids are approved. Officially, the FDA has given companies a two year window to begin submitting their products for approval. This is two years of people consuming products that they are unsure of what is in them. Further, some companies list their products as nicotine free, but the majority of liquids labelled as such have been found to have trace amounts of nicotine.
One of the major issues being found with vaping is that there has been popcorn lung linked with the liquid used. Diacetyl is the chemical that has been known to cause popcorn lung. Yet, diacetyl is found in the vast majorities of vaping liquids, which means it is exposing more and more youth to this irreversible disease. This has been a known issue with vaping but this is still not the unknown lung disease that patients are encountering.
Due to vaping being so new, it is hard to identify the risk factors associated. Unfortunately, those who are vaping now are the guinea pigs to what will happen. As more research is done, it is becoming more and more evident that there are only more risks to be identified. The long term usage of vape products, whether the liquid or the device itself, is unknown and given the lung disease being developed, it is not looking good.
The best way to quit smoking cigarettes is with an FDA approved cessation method, and vaping is not one. Further, young adults and underage persons should simply say no when it comes to vaping.