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U.S. tells smokers to stop vaping pending investigation into five deaths

11 September 2019

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting more than 450 potential or confirmed cases of severe lung injuries.

Severe pulmonary disease related to vaping has taken another casualty in the United States, bringing the total death up to three.

The exact cause of the illness remains unknown, but investigators think that it is likely related to a chemical exposure, instead of an infectious agent.

The agency considers the use of e-cigarettes to be a "rising public health crisis" in the USA, with an alarming increase in vaping among teens. Vitamin E acetate is not an approved additive for New York State Medical Marijuana Program-authorized vape products and was not seen in the nicotine-based products that were tested.

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After an announcement that was made from health officials in IL last week that revealed that a patient had died owing to severe respiratory illness, OR health officials have suggested that the case of an individual who died in July is actually consistent with the growing number of e-cigarette related reports that are spreading across the country. Unsafe solvents and flavorings are frequently added to black market vape cartridges and a few additives, including vitamin E oil which is used in edible hemp oil products, appear to be a possible cause. In addition, most also contained significant amounts of Vitamin E acetate, a substance present in topical consumer product but there is limited data about inhalation.The FDA said that all youth should refrain from using any vaping products.

That's far from certain at this point, but as you'll hear in this CBS News report, this 18-year-old almost died after just two years of vaping.

CDC launched a multi-state investigation into this mysterious lung illnesses on August 1, 2019, and has worked closely with FDA, states and other public health partners, and clinicians to determine the cause.

How sure are they that they've found what's causing the illness? All patients reported using e-cigarettes, and many reported using the devices to vape marijuana before they got sick.

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"My stance is overall, as a lung doctor, I don't want anybody putting anything into their lungs", Dr. Dixie Harris, a pulmonologist with Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, who has worked on 24 cases in Utah said.

Watch this video from CBS News on the outbreak of vaping-related lung diseases. The agency says that officials are still looking for a common factor linking all of the cases.

THC is the high-inducing component of marijuana, and numerous vaping illnesses around the country have been linked to use of THC-laden liquids.

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U.S. tells smokers to stop vaping pending investigation into five deaths