USA deaths rise to 26, illnesses to 1,299

A smoker puffs on an electronic cigarette in Halifax on Friday Feb. 7 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Andrew Vaughan

A smoker puffs on an electronic cigarette in Halifax on Friday Feb. 7 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS Andrew Vaughan

The Indianapolis State Department of Health (ISDH) said the latest deaths bring Indiana to three since September 6.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 1,000 confirmed or probable vaping illnesses have been reported nationwide as of last week. "I am asking CT residents to not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC".

South Dakota health officials say the number of vaping-related illnesses reported in the state has almost doubled in the past two weeks.

As of Tuesday, 1,299 confirmed or probable cases of lung injuries linked to vaping were recorded in the U.S.in every state except Alaska. These cases have arisen from 46 states and one USA territory.

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Victims who have died range in ages from 17 to 75 and average out to 45 years old.

Ned Sharpless, the acting head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reported that among samples tested of THC containing products, 47 percent contained Vitamin E acetate which is used as a cutting agent and is harmful when vaporized and inhaled.

"This death is a sad reminder of the severity of these unexplained illnesses", Dr. Angela Dunn, Utah Department of Health epidemiologist, said in the news release.

The CDC says the latest findings suggest products with THC play a role in the outbreak.

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Some patients who have been discharged from hospital after recovering from lung injury associated with vaping have had to be readmitted, U.S. officials said Friday as they named the mysterious illness that has killed 26.

In New Brunswick, the chief medical officer of health is working with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada and is encouraging doctors to be on alert for potential cases.

13 per cent reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products. That province's official opposition has called for a complete ban on ownership of vaping products by people under the age of 18. "I urge anyone who is using these products to consider stopping, especially if you are vaping THC".

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