Vape users falling ill across the nation

The leisure activity known as vaping has been in the news a lot lately, for all the wrong reasons.

Severe, acute, lung illnesses have been reported all over the country, two of them resulting in deaths. One adult has died in Illinois, and a second death was reported in Oregon this week.

The Centers for Disease Control has been working with state health officials to figure out why vaping is causing these illnesses.

Last Friday, the CDC warned against using e-cigarette ingredients bought on the street and warned users of vape devices to disconinue modifying them.

"CDC, U..S. Food and Drug Aministration, state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use. This investigation is ongoing and has not identified a cause, but all reported cases have a history of using e-cigarette products."

Some 215 possible cases of severe pulmonary disease had been reported in 25 weeks, as of Aug. 27, according to the CDC.

A couple of weeks ago this health threat hit close to home, when a Southeast Missouri State University student nearly lost her life after falling critically ill. She was able to recover enough to text her thoughts and condition to student journalists at the Arrow newspaper at Southeast Missouri State University.

"With cigarettes, you know the outcome," Brianna Sikes told Arrow editor Zach Tate. "But I didn't expect to be put in a situation where the end of my life could be at 21 years old [because of vaping]."

E-cigarettes are marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes, especially to those who want to quit smoking. But due to safety concerns, we would urge nonsmokers to abstain from the addictive e-cigarette devices.