Public health: Man hospitalized in first vaping-related illness in Miami County

TROY — A 21-year-old man was hospitalized for “a number of days” in Miami County’s first case of a vaping-related illness, said Dennis Propes, Miami County Public Health commissioner.

“The case that we had here in the county was a very sick individual,” said Propes. “It created a lot of issues with him. It could be a lot of long-lasting health issues for this person.”

>> RELATED: Vaping-related illness hospitalizes 15 in Ohio

The case is one of 32 confirmed as of Tuesday.

Propes said public health was notified of the case by the Ohio Department of Health late last week.

No deaths have been reported in Ohio, but 29 cases required hospitalization.

“The vaping is a huge issue. You’re taking a chemical and you’re putting it into your body in a form that goes deeper into your body than say smoking tobacco,” Propes said. “You’re introducing these harmful substances into your body and there’s not a lot of research, not a lot of knowledge as to what are the effects of doing this.”

>> RELATED: Mystery lung illness among vapers spreading in Ohio

For some vapers, they see it as a way to quit smoking or using tobacco products, but unfortunately, there are also health risks with vaping.

“It’s still an addictive substance that’s getting deeper into your lungs,” Propes said. “As we’re seeing, it’s going to cause some pulmonary issues.”

Symptoms include cold and flu-like symptoms, such as coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

With a new law going into effect Thursday that raises the age to purchase tobacco products and alternative nicotine products to 21, Propes hopes that it will help curb kids and young adults from picking up the habit.

>> Big tobacco law changes are coming. Will it help Ohio youth?

"It's a huge issue," he said. "We've been working with as lot of our community partners. We'll actually be meeting with schools next week to gauge their needs and to see what we can do to help them in addressing this issue."
By educating people, particularly kids and young adults, about the risks, as well as developing resources to treat vaping addiction will also hopefully see a decrease in smoking rates, Propes said.

Anyone trying to quit smoking or vaping can call the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).


>> Ohio to spend $4.1M on initiatives aimed to fight youth vaping

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