According to the CDC, there are reports of more than 1000 patients in the US with vaping-associated lung injuries, and 23 deaths have been confirmed. The median age of deceased patients is 49.5 years, while the median age of patients overall is 23 years. The first reported death occurred in Illinois August 23rd 2019.
Do any of the following three explanations for this outbreak have factual support?
- There is no outbreak. After the first death attributed to vaping, patients with lung disease were asked about their vaping history, whereas before they were not. This explains the rapid rise of reported cases in the last two months. There were similar cases all along, but hospitals changed the questions they asked.
- Vapers changed the vaping parameters after watching videos like this one (8 of the 10 most watched vaping videos on youtube are about vape tricks). During the hot summer months vaping outside, the viscosity of e-liquid was lower, introducing a second change that increased the substance intake through the inhaled aerosol.
- The onset of the outbreak was so rapid that no change in products, buying behaviour or vaping behaviour could explain it because these things happen over months and years, not weeks. The cause of the outbreak was a firmware upgrade in the vaping devices that led to a change in vaping conditions resulting in harmful substances created while vaping (for example in a vape dry hit).