Deaths linked to electronic cigarettes: specialists warn that "they are not a cool fashion"


Argentine specialists warned today that "the vapers are not a cool fad, as it is proven that they harm", after the US health authorities reported in the last hours about the death of five people due to respiratory disease "caused for the frequent use of electronic cigarettes. "

The deaths occurred in Indiana, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Oregon and Illinois, according to official US data. This week the governor of Michigan, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, decreed the ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes, making the state the first to sell those products.

"There is numerous evidence that demonstrates that the electronic cigarette is harmful to health and that it does not bring any benefit with respect to industrial cigarettes," said Argentine cardiologist Francisco Toscano Quilon.

Toscano Quilon, also a member of the Argentine Cardiological Foundation (FCA), commented that a publication from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States was recently announced that warned of a new respiratory pathology that affects young people and adults young people, whose "only common pattern was the frequent use of vapers, having ruled out any type of infectious pathology".

That report indicated the existence of 193 reported cases of patients with "shortness of breath" and "chest pain," and said that many of them "required mechanical ventilatory assistance and prolonged hospitalization."

"Unfortunately one of those patients died and it was reported that he had vaped marijuana products," said the cardiologist, who explained, however, that "there is not enough information to talk about an accurate diagnosis" but that "it is suspected that it could be a lipoid pneumonia. "

In this regard, an article published days ago in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that a group of researchers from the University of Health in Utah identified an unknown characteristic of the respiratory disease associated with vaping.

The scientists indicated that patients who suffer from a type of respiratory disease and are users of electronic cigarettes have immunity cells with small oily drops in their lungs called lipids loaded with lipids.

Macrophages accumulate at the sites of infection and "they are cells that distinguish very well and that we don't see often," said study author Scott Aberegg. "That made us wonder if they are there eliminating wastes introduced into the lungs by vaping," he added.

Lung scanners of patients with vaping disease show what a serious viral or bacterial pneumonia looks like, but tests to confirm these diseases have so far resulted in negative results.

Regarding the dangers associated with the use of electronic cigarettes, an editorial recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) warned about the orientation they have towards "young people and young adults", as well as "the use of flavorings and aromatizers to make them more attractive. "

In Argentina, although statistics are not available, the electronic cigarette was included in the register of risk factors and "it is known that its consumption is increasingly frequent due to a certain fashion and the false concept that it is more healthy than industrial cigarette, "said Toscano Quilon.

Also, electronic cigarettes and related products have been banned by Anmat in the country since 2011.

"There are no doubts left and it is our responsibility to alert the community, and especially the young people, that the use of electronic cigarettes is not a cool fashion, but, quite the contrary, is an element that causes proven damage to both he who uses it as for passive vapers, "the cardiologist emphasized.

Several Ibero-Latin American pneumological scientific societies – among them the Argentine Association of Respiratory Medicine (AAMR) – recently presented a document stating that "to date no scientific analysis can prove that electronic devices that release nicotine (DELN) are effective for give up smoking".

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