Related Illnesses Climb As Federal Officials Reveal Criminal Investigation

Countries where electronic cigarettes are regulated

US vaping illnesses top 500, Missouri man is 8th death

Cases of vaping-related lung illness in the USA have climbed to 530 this week, up from 380 last week, with seven deaths so far and more expected, the CDC said Thursday.

Missouri DHSS said they concluded it was a vaping-related lung injury after lung samples were taken of a Mercy patient who had a history of vaping but normal lung function prior to starting vaping in May 2019.

In addition to providing an update on the cases, Washington Post reports that the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations opened its own criminal probe into the matter earlier this summer shortly after reports of the illness were published.

"Due to the nature of this critical illness, acute respiratory distress syndrome ultimately led to his death", Plisco said.

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'Once the lungs are injured by vaping, we don't know how quickly it worsens and if it depends on other risk factors'.

"No consistent e-cigarette product, additive, or brand has been identified in all cases", she said.

DHSS and the CDC advise anyone using vaping products who experience the symptoms listed above to seek medical care promptly. Two-thirds of the cases are patients between the ages of 18 and 34, while 16% of the patients are younger than 18 years old and 17% are 35 years or older.

CDC officials said that many but not all of the reported and confirmed cases involved both THC - the psychoactive chemical in marijuana - and nicotine vaping. State health officials in IL, where 69 cases and one death have been reported, are asking residents to fill out an anonymous online survey to describe their vaping habits to aid officials in their investigation, USA Today reported. More than half of the cases are in people younger than 25.

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For its investigation, the FDA has collected more than 150 vaping product samples, according to Mitch Zeller, JD, director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. It will focus on the supply chain and figuring out what is making people sick. Adults using e-cigarettes to quit smoking should not return to cigarettes, Schuchat said, but instead should talk to a health care provider about other tools to help them quit.

Symptoms have included cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever and abdominal pain. Tobacco- and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes are still allowed to be sold in those states.

"We're trying to get the message out that if people haven't started vaping, they shouldn't".

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