Related illnesses most likely 'direct chemical injury,' Mayo Clinic study finds

A young man holds a vaping device at a skate park in San Francisco

U.S. doctors rule out pneumonia due to inhaled oil as cause of vaping injuriesA young man uses a vaping device at a skate park in San Francisco

In particular, the findings cast doubt on one theory of what's causing the problem: that vaping lung injuries represent a rare type of so-called lipoid pneumonia caused by accumulation of oil from vaping liquid inside the lungs.

She added that little is understood about the relatively new vaping-related lung injuries. The researchers found signs of lung damage similar to what would occur after exposure to toxic chemicals, gases or other substances, according to correspondence published in the New England Journal of Medicine on October 2.

The damage in the lungs of some patients who have become ill after vaping looks like what would have occurred in the lungs of soldiers exposed to lethal gases, a Scottsdale-based Mayo Clinic doctor said after the release of a study on Wednesday that's garnering national attention. All of the patients vaped in the past, 71 per cent had vaped with marijuana or cannabis oils and two of the biopsies came from patients who died.

Leaders in the cannabis industry recently banded together to propose a regulatory framework for cannabis and sent a letter to U.S. Congress pleading them to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act to create an alternative to vaping.

Images of lung tissue published by researchers showed severe chemical injuries after the patients had vaped unknown substances.

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"We have seen a handful of cases, scattered individual cases, over the past 2 years where we've observed the same thing, and now we are seeing a sudden spike in cases".

He said that unless clinicians and pathologists have the information in advance, diagnosing vaping-associated injury can be hard.

A toxic chemical has been found in the lungs of 17 people afflicted with vaping-related illnesses - providing vital clues into the nationwide e-cigarette health crisis.

"Everyone should recognize that vaping is not without potential risks, including life-threatening risks, and I think our research supports that", he says.

Public Health England encourages vaping as a mode of quitting cigarettes and has argued that the behavior isn't any more than 5 per cent as risky as smoking.

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In April, Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the United Kingdom was "out of step" with other parts of the world when it came to messages around the safety of vaping.

Some states have imposed a temporary ban on the sale of e-cigarettes or flavored liquids used in them while researchers investigate health-related issues.

For months, USA health officials have scrambled to determine why more than 800 people have developed lung illnesses and at least 12 people have died due to problems connected to vaping, but reached frustratingly few conclusions.

In response to the rash of cases across the country, the CDC is urging people to immediately stop vaping e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC.

"That these samples do not show evidence of lipid accumulation indicates that the cause is not lipid per se, but something else in the vapour".

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