Four students at a high school in Florida got ill from vaping on Tuesday, Oct. 19.
CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Local news media reports that four students at Cape Coral High School in Lee County, Fla., have become ill from vaping before classes during the morning of Oct. 19, 2021.
According to the report, three of the students were sent home for sickness. One of the students was hospitalized.
Updates regarding the well-being of the students have not been seen by Vaping Post or local news media outlets.
WINK News, a local CBS affiliate based in Fort Myers, Fla., asked Dr. Susan Hook her thoughts on the incident.
Hook told WINK News reporters that vaping is dangerous and that the students that got sick “found out this isn’t a bending substance (nicotine) and [that] they are hurting themselves.”
Hook is a healthcare professional and the executive director of the Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in Cape Coral.
Her organization is a Christian healthcare firm that potentially approaches vaping and its role in harm reduction as a sin for not only children but adults who rely on e-cigarettes to quit smoking.
Hook said that flavored vapes cause severe lung damage and cancer because of the chemicals used to manufacture the products. Unfortunately, Dr. Hook is clearly recycling talking points from alarmist tobacco control groups that lack the specifics and nuances related to vaping products across the board.
In 2019 into early 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared a public health emergency due to about 2,000 cases of lung injuries associated with the use of vaping devices. For much of this emergency, state and federal public health officials failed to issue specific reports on the injuries and what was the actual cause of the injury. Nicotine-containing vapes and e-liquids were found not to be the link to the lung injuries.
It turns out it was contaminated and, at times, black market-sold vaping products and e-liquids that contain THC cannabinoids and other psychoactive and non-psychoactive weed components.
It took the CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration several months to finally recognize the nuances in the public health communications regarding vaping liquids that are at risk of causing expansive harm to public health in the US and Canada.
For a reminder, the injury in question is known as EVALI or the e-cigarette and vaping-associated lung injury. EVALI was almost entirely concentrated in states where marijuana is outlawed and where regulatory regimes are in place to ensure product quality.
Florida is one of the only states left in the US that outlaw recreational marijuana use, including flora and vapes.
For the current case of the Cape Coral High School students, there is very little information provided on whether the vaping products that were ingested contained nicotine or marijuana derivatives. Or whether the vaping products the students are using are products purchased from dealers and illicit marketeers.
Given the current state of Florida’s marijuana laws and criminal code, it’s not far-fetched to infer that the vaping liquid used by the four students contains unregulated marijuana derivatives.
This was the case for many of the EVALI cases that involved youth and young adults. Dr. Hook further recommends that parents speak with their children about vaping and its risks.
However, Hook omits the peer-reviewed evidence that nicotine vaping is at least 95 percent safer than combustible cigarettes.
The harm of vaping marijuana is also highly reduced from burning marijuana. Despite the uncertainty of the current product environment for electronic cigarettes in the US, the FDA still maintains that certain vaping products, including the Vuse Solo, are risk-reduced nicotine products compared to cigarettes.