Updated on August 16, 2020.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Most of the nearly 400 patients hospitalized from vaping-related
lung disease will likely recover, but they may have long-lasting complications.
Many of the patients are suffering from a type of pneumonia called lipoid
reported. This occurs when lipids, or oils, enter the lungs, causing a profound
inflammatory reaction. One 18-year-old vaping patient was told that he had the
lungs of a 70-year-old. Many of the patients are recovering and discharged from
the hospital within several days, doctors say, but they may be left with
long-term damage. Though the effects are unknown, this type of severe
inflammation likely causes some irreparable damage, such as scar tissue, which
may lead to issues like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease down
the road. Experts also emphasize that the illnesses appear to be associated
only with black-market products, with no cases linked to products sold through
medical marijuana programs.