US Officials revise vaping illness count to 380

Maricruz Casares
Setiembre 13, 2019

USA military health officials have issued an alert recommending that service members and their families refrain from vaping, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked 380 cases of severe lung disease, including six deaths, to the habit.

"With the recent surge in severe lung illnesses, and what we already know about the addictive products used in vaping, we can no longer be hampered in protecting the health of our young people", Constantine said in a Wednesday news release.

"The broad recommendation is because we do have a diversity of products...some containing THC and some containing nicotine", she said. Hundreds of individuals have been hospitalized with lung-disease symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and fevers, and many are in need of intensive care and help breathing through oxygen devices.

The report sheds light on some of the lung illnesses that have spread across 33 states, and authors say that investigations are needed in others states to see if those cases have the same features.

There have been six vaping-related deaths to date.

While THC could be a large contributor, recent studies by NY state health officials say that almost all of the vape products that is has tested containing THC also contained vitamin E acetate, an oil-like substance that is harmful if inhaled.

While the rash of illnesses has not yet been linked to a specific product or ingredient, health officials have urged consumers to avoid vaping altogether.

E-cigarettes contain a solution that's heated up and converted to an aerosol, which is then inhaled.

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North Carolina has tested vaping liquids collected from some patients.

"It would be premature to say vitamin E acetate is driving these illnesses", Moore said.

This year, 450 people have been diagnosed with mysterious lung illnesses believed to be linked to vaping. The deaths were reported in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon.

Some other states have announced they are investigating possible vaping illnesses, but have not yet told CDC that those illnesses met case definitions for confirmed or probable cases, CDC officials said.

Almost 28 percent of US adolescents surveyed this year said say they vaped at least once in the last 30 days, the government said.

E-cigarettes generally have been considered less risky than regular cigarettes, but health officials have warned that nicotine is harmful to developing brains.

The adult vaping rate has been much lower, at around 3 percent, and rising slowly.

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