Saturday, 06 June, 2020

USA vaping illnesses continue to rise, cause still a mystery

A woman loads liquid into her vaping device in Harmony Pa Enlarge Image A woman loads liquid into her vaping device in Harmony Pa. AP
Gustavo Carr | 12 October, 2019, 05:54

Since August 2019, 35 confirmed or probable vaping-related lung injury cases have been reported in MI, including one death.

As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had confirmed 26 deaths across 21 states, including three fatalities each in Alabama and California.

More than two dozen people have died in connection with an outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses across the U.S. Most patients have reported a history of using products containing THC, the ingredient that gives marijuana its high.

About 70% of the 1,043 patients, on whom data is available, are male, with 15% below 18 years of age, according to the CDC.

But doctors studying lung tissue samples from people with vaping-related injuries have found that none of the cases actually had evidence of lipoid pneumonia, a rare condition typically linked to people accidentally inhaling oils into their lungs.

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The number of confirmed and probable lung illnesses tied to vaping had also climbed to 1,299. The CDC also reported 26 deaths had been confirmed in 21 states, including one fatality from CT.

CDC and MDHHS recommend that persons should not use e-cigarette or vaping products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cases of lung injury have been reported in 49 states, the District of Columbia and one USA territory.

Individuals who do not now use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette or vaping products.

Mitch Zeller, director of FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said the agency has tested 225 THC-containing products and found Vitamin E acetate - a cutting agent - in almost half of them. "I urge anyone who is using these products to consider stopping, especially if you are vaping THC".

With the outbreak picking up in pace, some states - including New York, Michigan and Rhode Island - have banned the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes.