CHICAGO (CBS) — On Tuesday, federal lawmakers took up the issue of vaping.
One person who testified against it: A New Lennox mother whose daughter nearly died.
“These products flooded the market without anyone knowing how they could cause damage, and now we’re trying to clean up a mess that involves a cocktail of mystery toxins and proprietary flavors, devices that are easily tampered with and a generation of teens who are addicted to nicotine,” Ruby Johnson said.
Her daughter Piper got sick while driving to college in Colorado. Doctors diagnosed her with vaping-related lung disease. The CDC said there were more than 500 cases of lung injuries connected to vaping, some fatal.
“What started as an exciting rite of passage turned into a terrifying near-death experience that involved a weeklong hospital stay,” said Johnson, detailing a battery of drugs and medical interventions used to treat her daughter, including oxygen, intravenous fluids, steroids, anti-nausea drugs and pain relievers.
Vaping advocates said the products give people an alternative to smoking.
Johnson said her daughter had vaped THC but was mainly using nicotine e-cigarettes such as Juul in the weeks before she became sick.
Johnson, of New Lenox, Illinois, blamed e-cigarette manufacturers for targeting teens with appealing flavors and the FDA for allowing vapes to “proliferate, flourish and remain for purchase,” without formal review.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.