A wave of vaping related illnesses has swept across the country, showing more than 500 cases and 11 deaths. In Colorado alone, there have been 8 cases of this illness, and 6 have been hospitalized.

There have been several proposals for what to do about the situation, including calls to raise the nicotine age to 18 or sweeping bans on all electronic cigarettes or flavored electronic cigarettes. 10 local governments in Colorado have already raised the age to 21.

Colorado topped the nation for teen vaping in a survey of more than three dozen states last year.

Of the cases of vaping related illnesses in Colorado, two involved just marijuana, three involved just nicotine, and two involved both nicotine and marijuana.

Three of the cases were in Denver, two in Boulder and one each in Arapahoe, Jefferson, and Weld counties. The median age of the cases is 18.

“This is a serious situation, and people who vape should be on high alert, as should medical providers treating patients who vape,” said Dr. Tista Ghosh, chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Since the department has been actively notifying providers and hospitals of the symptoms, we expect we may get more reported cases.”

Symptoms of sudden and severe lung illness include:
– Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
– Chest pain
– Cough
– Fatigue
– Possible fever

While officials are unclear exactly what the cause of the vaping related illnesses are, the CDC does say that vaping products in general are poorly regulated and the long-term affects of vaping are still unknown.

Kaylee was raised (but not *technically* born) in Colorado. She graduated from Regis University with a bachelor of arts in English. During her time at Regis she worked as a teaching assistant in a freshman classroom setting and in the writing center helping students on a variety of topics. While there, she discovered Cura Personalis, or care for the entire person, leading to her love of feminism and desire for equal rights for all. Kaylee is the managing editor for AboutBoulder, OnDenver, and a key member of the OnMetro team, launching this platform in cities across the United States.