SALT LAKE CITY — Vaping-related lung illness was a large concern before COVID-19 took over the news headlines. 

And today, two years after patients started showing up in hospitals with pneumonia-like symptoms, researchers at Intermountain Healthcare say they know more about vaping-related lung illness. Specifically, how and if people diagnosed with E-cigarette or Vaping Associated Lung Illness (e-VALI) recover.

They’ve also discovered another complication that doesn’t involve the lungs.

“Most people do recover,” Dr. Denitza Blagev, a pulmonary and critical care physician, told KSL TV reporter Jed Boal, “but there’s still a significant portion of patients — not the majority — that have significant breathlessness.”

Of the 91 e-VALI patients studied by Intermountain researchers, 15% still had severe trouble breathing. Nearly 40% suffered mild cognitive impairment, and 57% reported they have anxiety.

It should be noted that most of the patients with vaping-related lung illness had vaped unregulated THC cartridges (which allow the user to consume cannabis oil via vaping.)  Dr. Blagev said they also see long-term effects from other vaping products.

Anybody who wants to quit vaping or smoking can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.



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