Doctors suspect vaping devices linked to mysterious lung illnesses in teens, young adults

Vaping linked to severe breathing problems among adolescents, some treated in Ohio

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Doctors all over the country are seeing a mysterious disease in teens and young adults. They believe it stems from vaping.

Dr. Humberto Choi, pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says, “They are young patients who otherwise had no medical problems.”

All of the nearly 150 patients this summer alone have reported vaping either nicotine, marijuana or both before they reported breathing problems.

“They came with cough, shortness of breath, and some of them had abnormalities in an X-ray or CT scan,” said Dr.Choi.

Choi has treated some of these young patients. He said, “I know so far three cases. Two of them were in the hospital.”

Choi is concerned that because this pattern is so new, physicians may miss the association with vaping.

Dr. Choi suggests patients cut off vaping, look into addiction therapy, and possibly steroids because of inflammation in the lungs. “This is still unknown. We don’t know exactly who the patients who would benefit from the steroids or even if this is the right treatment for them,” said Dr. Choi.

The Centers for Disease Control says investigators have not yet identified a specific brand or ingredient linked to all of the cases. The state departments of health are investigating the possible cause. “The CDC has sent a letter urging clinicians to report these cases,” said Choi.

The most recent number of severe lung-related cases possibly linked to vaping are from June 28 through Aug. 21

. Dr. Choi says right now, it may be difficult for hospitals to track these cases because there’s no specific diagnostic.

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