New concerns link vaping to lung damage

UI Health Care researchers are looking for volunteers for their study on the effects of vaping. (MGN)

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - While vaping continues to rise in popularity, medical professionals warn it could be causing major health problems. 

“It's not vapor it's aerosol there is a lot of chemicals in there," said Matthew Quinn, Rosecrance Health Network. 

"Their problems are not like a cold or the flu they can cause serious and potentially cause lung injury," said Dr. Philip Carlson-Dexter, University of Chicago College of Medicine Rockford. 

Many medical professionals across the US say people who use nicotine devices put themselves in danger. Quinn is a certified drug and alcohol abuse counselor with Rosecrance who speaks regularly about the risks surrounding vaping.

"A lot of young people are making the mistake that because it's not smoke they are jumping to the other extreme and thinking it is relatively harmless. You are still talking about on average 40 to 60 chemicals that are still in there," Quinn said. 

Marco's Vapor employee Brady Starling credits vaping for helping him quit cigarettes. He says problems occur when people aren't educated. 

"There is free based nicotine and there's salt nicotine. Salt nicotine is what's in Juul's and it’s very intense and very strong," Starling said. 

"One Juul pod for example in the standard strength contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes," Carlson- Dexter said. 

 The Illinois Department of Public Health recently sent a health alert about severe respiratory outbreaks as a result of vaping.

"What they've seen with these cases is that there is not an infectious cause or ideology. These adolescents are vaping so it's likely there is something toxic in the chemical itself that's causing real damage to the lungs," said Dr. Daniel Butterbach, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. 

If you vape often and start coughing, experience shortness of breath or become fatigued. Get to a doctor right away.