Federal research and recent hospitalizations highlight the health risks of e-cigarettes use by adolescents that can result in long-term damage to brain development and respiratory health. The National Youth Tobacco Survey determined from 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use increased 78 percent among high-school students and 48 percent among middle-school students. In recent months, major producers of e-cigarettes have faced criticism from industry, government officials, and lawmakers and talk of stricter federal regulation is underway.
In April, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an investigation into a possible connection between e-cigarette use and seizures, urging the public to report any similar symptoms after vaping. In August, the FDA reported it had 127 reports of seizures or other neurological symptoms that occurred between 2010 and 2019 possibly related to e-cigarette use—some from first-time users.
In July, eight Wisconsin teens were hospitalized with severely damaged lungs and related symptoms, including coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue—injuries that the hospital’s chief medical officer attributes to vaping. All patients reported vaping in the weeks and months prior to hospitalization. In Illinois, three young people were hospitalized after vaping with similar symptoms.