KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A hospital in Wisconsin said it has treated eight teenagers for severe injuries to their lungs, and doctors suspect their problems are tied to vaping.
The Children's Hospital of Wisconsin said the exact cause of the problem is still being looked in to, but all of the patients said they vaped in the weeks and months before coming to the hospital.
Doctors at the hospital said the teenagers had trouble breathing and other symptoms like vomiting, weight loss, cough and chest pain.
"The popularity of vaping is skyrocketing among our kids and the long term effects are relatively unknown," said Dr. Michael Gutzeit, the Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five high school students, and one in twenty middle school students have reported vaping.
Medical professionals in East Tennessee say vaping can cause health problems.
"When you breathe it in, you are breathing in aerosolized chemicals deep into the lungs, one the most dangerous ones is dycetal, which can cause popcorn lung," said Chris Rourke, PA-C with Summit Medical Group.
He said that can cause lung scarring, and it can lead to problems later in life.
"The earlier you breathe them in, the longer they have to affect the body," Rourke said.
In Washington, D.C., lawmakers summoned leaders at JUUL to discuss the use among young people.
Leaders at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin have a message for parents.
"If you know your kids, or suspect your kids are vaping, have a conversation with them, talk to your health provider about how you can discuss that, and also warn them about the potential dangers of vaping," Dr. Gutzeit said.
The CDC said E-cigarettes expose users to fewer harmful chemicals than regular cigarettes, and it said the use of any tobacco product and e-cigarettes is not safe for young people.