Stop Vaping, U.S. Health Officials Say, Reporting 3rd Vaping Death

WWJ News
September 06, 2019 - 2:40 pm
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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Stop vaping or using e-cigarettes. That's the message from the federal health officials after three people died, and possibly a fourth, from a vaping-related respiratory illness.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is investigating these deaths along with 450 possible cases of lung disease in 33 states, including Michigan, that doctors have linked to vaping. 

Health officials say no single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses. 

Many of the sickened — but not all — were people who said they'd been vaping THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its high. An article on 53 illnesses in Illinois and Wisconsin noted that nearly one-fifth of the cases were people who said they vaped nicotine and not anything that contained THC or CBD oil.

With this in mind, health officials on Friday again urged people to stop vaping until they figure out why some are coming down with serious breathing illnesses.

Mitch Zeller, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said tests are ongoing. 

"The samples that we're continuing to evaluate show a mix of results," he said. "And no one substance or compound has been identified in all of the samples tested."

Dr. Dana Meany-Delman with the CDC said most were teens, and all reported similar symptoms.

"And all reported (using) e-cigarette products in the 90 days prior to developing symptoms, most within a week or so before symptoms development." 

Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting. Doctors say the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury, with the body apparently reacting to a caustic substance that someone breathed in.

Anyone who uses e-cigarettes or vape who experience any of these symptoms are urged to seek medical attention right away.

Michigan law bans the use of vaping products in those 18-years and younger; and this week Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a ban on the sale of flavored vape products as the state declared a public health emergency.

The illnesses have all been reported this year, and the number has been growing quickly in the last month as more and more states have begun investigations. A week ago, U.S. officials pegged the number at 215 possible cases in 25 states.

The previous deaths were reported in Illinois and Oregon. Indiana officials said the person who died there was an adult, but they didn't say when it happened or release other details.

U.S. health officials for decades have been advising people not to smoke cigarettes. In 1964, a landmark report led by the Surgeon General linked smoking cigarettes to dangerous health effects, including lung cancer and heart disease.

Read more from the CDC about the recent outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarettes HERE.

MORE: 'Gov. Whitmer Is Not A Queen': Legal Challenge Expected To Flavored Vape Ban