CDC warns against vaping after series of lung-disease cases

Henrietta Strickland
September 10, 2019

The illnesses have all surfaced this year, and the number has been growing quickly in the last month, as more states have begun investigations. On Friday the CDC announced there have been around 4,550 cases of a mysterious lung disease associated with vaping in 33 different states.

The AMA on Monday urged people to avoid the use of e-cigarette products across the United States until health officials could further investigate and understand the cause of lung illnesses spread widely. There have been five reported deaths thus far.

The Federal and State officials are intensively investigating the sudden eruption of illness and deaths related to e-cigarette use. Between 2016 and 2018, almost 35,000 more IN students began using e-cigarettes.

Regarding the CDC announcement about e-cigarettes in general, Dana Delman, the CDC's incidence response manager, said the agency is working with multiple state health departments on the matter.

But at this time, the CDC doesn't feel it has enough evidence to definitively say that vitamin E acetate is the cause of this severe pulmonary disease.

E-cigarettes or similar devices also can provide THC or other substances to users.

The initial symptoms, such as chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath, are what typically cause patients to be hospitalized, with some describing more serious symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Gastrointestinal symptoms sometimes preceded respiratory symptoms. Fever, tachycardia, and elevated white blood cell count have been reported in the absence of an identifiable infectious disease.

"We know that the aerosol in the e-cigarettes or vaping devices contain things that you aren't supposed to inhale, like tin and lead and chromium and heavy metals, which can be very toxic to the lungs", said Dr. Devika Roa with Children's Medical Center Dallas.

But as cases of the illness and deaths linked to the illness have continued to increase, federal health officials on Friday issued differing warnings related to e-cigarette use and vaping, CNBC reports. There are a patchwork of regulations across Canada now concerning sales and marketing of e-cigarette products. Youth who smoke or vape can contact the American Lung Association's NOT on Tobacco Cessation Program (NOT) for teens (1-800-LUNGUSA).

Clinicians should report cases of significant respiratory illness of unclear etiology and a history of vaping to the Delaware Division of Public Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (24/7) at 1-888-295-5156. "And a lot of them, if not using an e-cigarette, will return to smoking".

An extremely unsafe and mysterious respiratory disease that appears connected with vaping and e-cigarettes has shown up in the Virgin Islands. Researchers say it is definitely associated with vaping and probably with THC used in the e-cigarettes.

"It would also reduce the ability for current smokers to be able to use product as an alternative [to cigarettes]".

E-cigarettes were legalized in Canada in 2018, popularized as useful tool in lowering one's cigarette or cannabis use.

Numerous cases involve teens, some of whom have come forward to describe their illnesses and subsequent hospitalizations in a bid to decrease use among their peers. "After achieving all-time low smoking rates, these misleading statements will cost thousands of lives when New Yorkers return to cigarettes", says the organization's Spike Babaian.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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