LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Texas story is catching national attention after a teen nearly died of lung failure.
A Lexington doctor is warning teens about cases of severe lung illnesses that have been linked to vaping.
Now, doctors are blaming vaping.
It's a fairly new trend that's gaining popularity with teens across the country, including right here in the Bluegrass.
“We don’t know the effects,” Lexington Emergency Physician Dr. Ryan Stanton said.
It’s been advertised as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, but doctors are finding that may not be the case.
“Everyone that is smoking now is really their own scientific guinea pig,” Stanton said.
After 94 reports of severe lung illnesses linked to vaping were seen in 14 states within just two months, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched an investigation.
“Right now the CDC doesn’t know what’s going on in terms of which chemical, whether it’s a contaminant or whether it’s the actual device is causing it,” Stanton said.
The only common thread so far is vaping.
Something that was originally meant to help smokers quit now has teens curious and willing to start.
“Unfortunately what we’re seeing now is people picking it up because it’s “cool” and unfortunately it’s not safe,” Stanton said.
According to the CDC, tobacco use, in general, is the highest in our area.
“The Midwest has been hit pretty hard,” Stanton said.
And Dr. Stanton believes that contributes to the popularity of vaping in our region as well, meaning stories like the one out of Texas may become more common in the Bluegrass.
“Not only is it not cool, but it’s also potentially not safe, and we’re seeing now potentially permanently damaging, if not life-threatening,” Stanton said.
Even more states have alerted the CDC to cases of lung issues that might be linked to vaping.
They haven't been confirmed yet, but the investigation is ongoing.