By Anai Ramos
Pulse Staff Reporter
To date, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed two cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping in Bexar County.
As of Oct. 15, 119 cases of severe vaping-related lung illnesses have been reported across the state, and information is being collected on another 34 potential cases.
According to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of cases of the mysterious lung illness attributed to vaping has soared over the last week, bringing the total amount of cases nationwide to nearly 1,300, CNBC reported.
Several doctors across San Antonio have treated at least a dozen patients who have been feeling the side effects from using vape products.
Marcos Alvarado, a sophomore Psychology major, has a brother who is addicted to Juuling.
“It doesn’t affect the relationship I have with my brother; I’ve tried it to see if I can understand better, I just don’t get it. I’ve heard the myths about it, well it’s not a cigarette, so it’s safe, but it’s just as dangerous,” said Alvarado.
“Anything you’re addicted to, it’s going to hold you back. I know for a fact it affects his exercise. Before, we would work out and run together. Now he slows down a lot quicker than I do,” he said. “He used to be athletic, jump higher, run faster, last longer in every sport. But now it’s different, and I can outrun him.”
One side effect of vaping is popcorn lungs. It is incurable and causes shortness of breath. Although the vape machine does not cause this, the flavored liquids do.
Electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, hookahs, vape sticks and pens can all lead to the cause of shortening of breath, cancer and eventually death.
Oscar Fragoso, a freshman Art major, said, “I do not vape because it makes me uncomfortable. All of it, people smoking, affecting their health and putting their lives in danger.”
As of September 1, 2019, Texas passed a bill and raised the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age, to protect teens and youths from harming themselves.
Madison Lopez, a sophomore Nursing major, said, “Vaping is not good for people’s health. Don’t mess up your body at such a young age. You’re supposed to take care of your body.”
Palo Alto College provides free social and mental health services to students, faculty and staff. The S.H.A.R.E. Center is located in the Student Center, Room 101. Their hours are Monday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, students may call (210) 486-3121.
Also, for personal counseling, visit Counseling Services in the Student Center, Room 101, or call (210) 486-3750 to schedule an appointment.