Five more Connecticut residents have reported lung injuries that may be linked to vaping, the Department of Public Health announced Friday.
The five new reports bring the total number of Connecticut cases to 18. Health officials said all of those patients have been released from the hospital, but half required intensive care treatment.
DPH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and prevention in the national investigating into vaping-linked lung injuries. The specific product or substance that’s causing the problems has not been identified at this point.
DPH is advising residents to avoid using any vaping products - whether they be nicotine products or THC. They are specifically warning against using any off-the-street products, and urge users not to modify or add anything to the products.
Nationally, there have been 805 lung injury cases reported in 46 states and one U.S. territory, and 12 deaths.
Despite the recent warnings, some users in Connecticut believe they’re not in any danger.
“I’ve been vaping for five years, it actually helped me stop smoking cigarettes,” said Peter Piccolo of Plainville.
Piccolo says he’s not alarmed by the recent deaths and injuries and won’t heed the warning to stop vaping.
“I do feel that more testing needs to be done. As a whole I feel it’s kind of an overreaction,” said Piccolo.
Our neighbors to the north, Massachusetts, have imposed a four-month ban on all vaping products.
Farmington native Juliana Scricca goes to college there and vapes.
“I had to come home because I can’t buy them there anymore. But, if I wanted to I could go buy a carton of cigarettes which are just worse for you,” said Scricca.
In fact, some worry the backlash and bans will turn people back on cigarettes with more dangerous consequences.
“I think this is actually killing people,” said Anthony Scricca of Farmington. “I’m just not going to make a decision about how I vape based on these studies.”