Scientists have come to agree that vaping may not be as different from traditional smoking; after all, it is causing damage to the lungs. This was the consensus reached by scientists when they published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine on Oct. 2.

The new study revealed there is a connection between vape products that contain THC, a psychoactive compound found in marijuana, and some lung diseases. The scientists, however, stopped short in concluding the compound is the main culprit in all cases of vaping illness as they are still in the process of studying other substances, products, and devices.

So far, tissue samples from patients who got ill from vaping show traces of vape juice that contained cannabis oils or marijuana. Two of these patients have already died from complications caused by lung damage.

Vaping and Illness
Vaping can cause illness, according to scientists. Thorn Yang - Pexels

In their findings, the scientists reveal they found signs of damage to the lungs, similar to those in people exposed to toxic gases, chemicals, or other harmful substances.

The researchers also say that the type of chemical injury believed to be caused by vaping is something like they have never seen before in tobacco or marijuana smokers. They think they are only beginning to see the tip of the iceberg.

While the results may not necessarily apply to all the cases of the reported outbreak, which has affected more than 1,000 people so far, it does show chemical compounds in some products cause adverse effects to the body.

The findings also weaken the theory that lipid buildup, which resulted from inhalation of substances like oils in vaping products, is causing vaping-related ailments.

The new study doesn’t dismiss the notion that inhaling chemicals and substances found in vape juices cause lung damage. Nevertheless, evidence of damage to the airways, which indicates pneumonia, strongly questions the theory that the damage is caused by lipid accumulation. What researchers found out is that the damage appeared to have been caused after one or more toxic substances have been inhaled.

Although their findings are a crucial step in understanding the cause of this illness, scientists warn that the main culprit remains unknown. As more investigations into the matter continue, several states have already moved to ban vaping products. Officials of the CDC have also started campaigns urging Americans to refrain from using e-cigarettes, at least until it establishes what is causing the rising rate of vape-related illnesses.