Santa Barbara’s reported vaping injury cases increased by 100 percent this month — which is to say that a second case was added on October 7 to the sole reported case in July. The second case was a woman admitted to an area hospital with pulmonary injuries after vaping marijuana products, Santa Barbara County Public Health reported. She was discharged, and Public Health did not release her age or location for privacy reasons.
Nationwide, vaping continues to cause death and illness — 33 deaths in 24 states are confirmed as of October 15, and 1,479 cases of lung injury have been reported in all states except Alaska. In California, 136 people have been injured and three have died as of October 22. Almost half of those affected are young adults or teenagers, and one third of those hospitalized had to be put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit.
Among the ingredients added to cannabis and nicotine vape cartridges, the culprit causing the respiratory injury remains unknown, but the Centers for Disease Control affirmed THC was present in most samples tested and was confirmed by patient history.
The CDC and public health agencies advise that people refrain from using e-cigarette or vaping products or purchasing them on the black market. As for nicotine users, the CDC states, “there is no known safe tobacco product.” Nicotine, a highly addictive chemical, can harm adolescent brain development, the CDC warns, which continues in the mid-twenties.