LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Another case of lung illness associated with vaping was confirmed in Southern Nevada. This marks the sixth in Clark County since September and adds to the growing number of cases around the country.
The case was reported on Dec. 18. Of the six current cases in Clark County, three are people between the ages of 18- to 21-years-old, two cases are in people between the ages of 25- to 49-years old and one case involves a teen under 18.
As more cases pop up, it seems some are reconsidering using e-cigarettes or vaping products.
“I vaped for probably about two to three years,” said Jonathan Perez. He quit six months ago because of the expense and recent reports about vaping illnesses. “It’s scary to know all of that.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 2,500 hospitalizations and 54 deaths nationwide. Here in Nevada, only six hospitalizations have been reported at the moment. Data shows one case involves a person under 18-years-old and no one over the age of 50.
“What we’ve noticed with our cases in particular is that younger people tend to purchase this product either off the streets from friends or just random places, and they’re not going through legitimate sources,” revealed Devin Raman, senior disease investigator with the health district.
The CDC has identified vitamin E acetate as the chemical of concern among people with an e-cigarette or vaping product use associated with lung injury.
“Vitamin E acetate is an additive that some distributors are putting into the product to cut it to make it go further and increase their profits,” said Raman.
Among Clark County’s reported cases, one individual reported using e-cigarettes with nicotine products only, while the other individuals reported using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, with three of the five also reported using cannabinoid (CBD) oils.
“We can’t really say that it is only one product versus the other,” noted Raman.
Perez was purely using nicotine. He switched to a new vice: cigarettes. He feared what he once put in his body, “I never knew what I was consuming.”
The CDC recommends people not use e-cigarettes or vaping products from informal sources, like friends or online and unlicensed dealers.