Discussion About Vaping Deaths Opened Up By The Way Out Recovery Rehab In Santa Clarita

The recent vaping deaths reported nationwide are being discussed by an official from The Way Out Recovery Rehab in Santa Clarita.

A total of nine deaths related to vaping had been confirmed in the U.S. as of Wednesday, with  the first death in Los Angeles County reported earlier this month, according to officials. 

“It’s very concerning what’s going on out there,” said The Way Out Recovery SCV Program Director Bob Sharits. “The scary thing about it is that they can’t exactly pinpoint what’s causing (these deaths). They don’t know if it’s in the chemicals in the flavoring or if it’s the chemicals in the delivery system or if it’s putting the vapor into your lungs on a whole that is doing it.”

Sharits noted that “severe lung illness” is being contracted by vape users, making them unable to breathe and consequently leading to their deaths.

The “best” theory Sharits said he’s heard about the possible cause of vaping deaths was given by a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station J-Team, Detective Bill Velek, at a Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley event over the weekend. 

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“I heard Detective Velek give an explanation of what they theorize is happening with these deaths,” Sharits said. “Because the delivery of vaping is in a vapor form, it’s sort of the same delivery system that you use when you use a nebulizer or a breathing tube. In breathing treatments, it’s designed so that the molecules of this vapor are really, really tiny and get to the farthest reaches of your lungs so that they can do what they’re designed to do and alleviate any restriction that’s in the lungs.” 

Sharits continued, “The same thing is happening when we’re using vape products, and so what’s happening is this liquid is settling in the parts of the lung that is so deep that it can’t be pushed out, and it sort of stacks up on top of itself, and over time that liquid builds up.” 

Ill vaping users being taken to hospitals nationwide are presenting with pneumonia-like symptoms, meaning fluid in the lungs, according to Sharits. 

But unlike with pneumonia, the fluid seems to be so deep inside the lungs that emergency room doctors haven’t been able to treat it effectively, Sharits noted. 

“There’s no treatment that’s going to penetrate as far down as that,” he said. “Then unfortunately, people are dying from that. And so that was an explanation that Detective Velek gave (Sunday), and it made a whole lot of sense.” 

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Dr. Darrin Privett from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital recently confirmed to KHTS that several individuals have come to the emergency room for illnesses related to vaping, and noted that a case of chemical pneumonia was seen in one “young female” in Santa Clarita due to vaping.

To hear the rest of Sharits’ discussion on vaping and its dangers, click here for the full KHTS podcast.


In Santa Clarita, drug issues are a major concern for many. The mission of the Santa Clarita rehab The Way Out Recovery SCV Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Treatment is to provide high quality, effective alcohol and drug outpatient treatment. The drug rehab’s goal is to assist adolescents, adults and their loved ones in becoming happily and usefully whole, free from drug addiction. Those seeking Santa Clarita drug treatment or a teen drug rehab can rest assured that The Way Out Recovery’s philosophy is to teach lifelong coping skills and strategies to assist in improving quality of life and living happily and meaningfully without the need of destructive behaviors.

The Way Out Recovery SCV
28118 Bouquet Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
(661) 296-4444