It’s Not Just a Cold: Vaping-Related Illness
Vaping has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years due to its potential health risks. As the popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping devices has soared, so has the incidence of vaping-related illnesses. These illnesses, often characterized by cold or flu-like symptoms, can have serious consequences for one’s health.
Vaping-related illnesses are a growing concern, and it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with them. Many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other common ailments, which makes early detection and diagnosis challenging. However, ignoring the warning signs listed below can lead to severe health consequences.
1. Respiratory Symptoms
One of the most common signs of vaping-related illness is the development of respiratory symptoms. Users may experience a persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and wheezing. These symptoms can be indicative of lung damage caused by the inhalation of toxic chemicals found in e-cigarette aerosols. In severe cases, vaping-related lung injuries can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a life-threatening condition.
2. Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Gastrointestinal symptoms are another set of warning signs associated with vaping-related illnesses. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur, often accompanied by abdominal pain. While these symptoms may initially be attributed to other causes, they can be indicative of the body’s response to harmful substances present in e-cigarette liquids or the inhalation of aerosolized chemicals.
3. Chest Pain
Chest pain should never be ignored, especially in individuals who use e-cigarettes. It can be a sign of various underlying issues, including lung inflammation or cardiac problems. Some vaping-related illnesses have been linked to an increased risk of heart issues, and chest pain should be evaluated promptly by a healthcare professional.
4. Fever and Chills
Fever and chills are common systemic symptoms seen in vaping-related illnesses. These symptoms can be a sign of an inflammatory response within the body, as it attempts to combat the toxic substances introduced through vaping. If fever and chills persist, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly, as they are among the signs of a life-threatening condition among vape users called EVALI.
5. Fatigue and Weakness
Unexplained fatigue and weakness are symptoms that can often accompany vaping-related illnesses. These symptoms can interfere with daily life and may be indicative of the body’s struggle to cope with the damage caused by vaping.
6. Cognitive and Psychological Changes
Vaping-related illnesses can also manifest as cognitive and psychological changes. Users may experience confusion, difficulty concentrating, or mood swings. These symptoms can result from the impact of toxic chemicals on the brain and nervous system.
7. Skin Problems
In some cases, vaping-related illnesses may lead to skin problems. Rashes, hives, or other skin irritations can develop as a result of the body’s response to harmful substances. These skin issues should not be ignored and should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs mentioned above and is a regular vaper, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Healthcare professionals can conduct the necessary tests and evaluations to determine the cause of the symptoms and provide appropriate treatment.
Prevention is key to avoiding vaping-related illnesses. Education and awareness about the potential risks of vaping, especially among young people, can help reduce the incidence of these illnesses. Talk to your loved ones about the very real risks associated with vaping.
Drug Free Clubs of America is on a mission to reduce the impacts of drug use in youth. Across the nation, drug and alcohol use is on the rise among teens. We provide students with practical tools and techniques to navigate peer pressure and choose a healthy lifestyle. Partnering with schools and communities, we offer preventative programming to meet students where they are. Through randomized drug testing, educational resources, a positive outlet, and a supportive community, we are changing school cultures and reducing alcohol, marijuana, vaping, and other detrimental activities among our members and the entire school body. Drug Free Clubs of America has over 5,000 student and faculty/staff members and Clubs in over 50 schools in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.