Health officials growing concerned about vaping as hospitals see more patients with lung conditions


Vaping is a growing trend among teenagers.

The trend has health departments and medical staff on high alert as they continue to see the number of patients rise with lung infections, some ending up deadly.

Six deaths linked to vaping have now been reported across the country, and the practice has quickly turned into a major health concern.

"Just because people like something, doesn't mean that it has to exist," said Dr. Kenneth Katz with Lehigh Valley Health Network.

And that something is vaping. Once thought to be the "safer alternative" to smoking, it is now all over the news as patients are showing up in ER's with mysterious lung conditions.

"What you're seeing is these severe acute lung injuries that appear to be not associated with infection," Katz said.

Lehigh Valley Health Network is unsure of the exact number of patients that they've treated in connection with vaping, but St. Luke's says they have treated 10 suspected vaping cases.

Doctors say it hard to pinpoint which cases are linked to vaping because there are a number of factors involved.

What is clear is the demographic that seems to be affected the most.

"It seems to be younger patients. I mean if you think about it, vaping is predominantly sort of the in vogue, sort of thing to do," Katz said.

But, being that they are younger, doctors say once treated the patients recover well. Symptoms to look out for include coughing, fatigue, and most importantly trouble breathing.

So the CDC, State Health Departments and medical professionals are urging people to stop.