Vape damage to the lungs resembles chemical burns

Last month we wrote that electronicCigarettes cause a mysterious lung disease among adolescents and young people. Recently, doctors at the Mayo Clinic in the United States examined lung tissue samples in 17 patients. All samples looked as if people were exposed to toxic chemicals. Two patients whose samples were tested passed away. Specialists claim that the resulting lung damage is similar to a chemical burn.

The number of deaths due to smoking electronic cigarettes is growing

What happened to smokers of electronic cigarettes?

From the moment the number of victims ofvaping was about a hundred people passed a little over a month. Today in the United States recorded more than 800 cases of lung disease in 46 states. 16 people have died. Most victims smoked THC, a psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but some patients reported that they smoked regular nicotine. Doctors could not determine exactly what causes lung damage, and also how many harmful substances caused the disease. However, scientists still do not know whether the evaporated liquid is the cause of the disease or the whole point is in the toxin released from the materials used to make vaping devices.

Tetrohydrocannabiol (THC) is one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis inflorescences and leaves.

Initially, experts suggested thatsmokers' lungs were clogged with oil fumes, such as THC oil, or vitamin E acetate, which is sometimes used to dilute THC oil. However, during the study of tissue samples, signs of accumulation of oil in the lungs were not detected. Instead, scientists saw many immune cells called macrophages, which had a foamy appearance characteristic of chemical damage. In other words, the lungs of smokers had injuries characteristic of a chemical burn. Experts say that further study of the discovered chemical compounds will be required in order to understand which of them are harmful to the body.

U.S. lung injury deaths

Among the victims was a 31-year-old woman,which died, despite intensive steroid treatment and even connecting an apparatus for supplying oxygen directly to the bloodstream. It is known that a woman smoked electronic cigarettes, but there is no information about which substances she used. Another victim was a 21-year-old man who reported smoking nicotine for five years, but fell ill soon after adding marijuana to the vape.

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Fatal lung injuries

According to Dr. Brandon Larsen, a surgeon inMayo Clinic in Scottsdale, in all 17 cases there was a lung pathology that looked like a burn from exposure to chemical smoke. Larsen believes that injuries look the same as people exposed to poisons, such as mustard gas or chemical weapons that were used during the First World War.

The results of the study were published in TheNew England Journal of Medicine and included samples obtained from 13 men and four women, whose age ranged from 19 to 67 years. About 70% of them reported smoking marijuana or cannabis oil. Eleven people lived in Arizona, five in Minnesota and one in Florida. In these patients, tissue damage and cell death of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract and the lungs themselves were observed.

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The picture shows lung tissue samples from four patients. Two of them died

Scientists believe that not all patients will be able toto recover, also at the moment to say that the lungs of those who managed to survive will fully recover. What will be the long-term consequences of the injuries also is not known. For decades, doctors have been interviewing patients about smoking regular cigarettes, but only recently began to clarify what exactly they smoke. Two of the cases included in the Mayo Clinic report occurred before 2019. According to Dr. Larsen, patients with similar symptoms have sought medical attention before, but the cause of their illness has not been identified.

Note that manufacturers of electronic cigarettescontinue to assure the public that their products are safe. Such statements, against the backdrop of numerous deaths, look like statements by heads of tobacco companies in the past - supposedly smoking cigarettes does not harm health.