Hawaii health officials: Vaping common element of severe lung disease
For months, we've been reporting on illnesses connected to vaping. Now, we've learned the problem has spread to Hawaii.
It was confirmed in a teenager from the Big Island. Right now, the illness is still a mystery but what we do know is that this is happening across the country and is baffling doctors.
There have already been 6 deaths and more than 450 potential or confirmed cases of this. The common element of this severe lung disease is vaping.
Doctors are seeing severe shortness of breath, chest pain, even nausea and coughing up blood.
Doctor Alvin Bronstein with the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) says while most diseases associated with cigarettes happen later in life, this disease is scary because it pops up suddenly.
"It's very unusual because as you point out, typically a lung disease from smoking develops over years, it's not something that happens right away, so this is very different," said Dr. Bronstein.
Since there is no cause, Hawaii health leaders are urging people to stop vaping until it can be figured out.
Hawaii also has the second highest rate in the country of teenagers who vape, and many teenagers do not consider it as bad as smoking.
Officials are still investigating this case and are hoping it does not lead to a wave of new cases in Hawaii.