Published: Thu, August 22, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Utahns hospitalized with breathing problems all reported recent vaping

Utahns hospitalized with breathing problems all reported recent vaping

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now investigating a spike in mysterious lung diseases believed to be associated with vaping.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 94 cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping in 14 states since late June.

New York's health department said Friday it is actively investigating 11 reported cases of pulmonary disease in people using vape products; it has issued a statewide advisory to health-care providers.

According to a statement, the CDC is teaming up with health departments in five states. "Although the causes of the recently reported cases are still under investigation, this is a reminder of the potentially severe health consequences of vaping".

Other symptoms include fever, chest pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms including weight loss, nausea and diarrhea.

The CDC did not link the illnesses to any specific product. "Patients may initially appear to have a common respiratory disease such as community-acquired pneumonia, but do not improve on antibiotics".

While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses, the CDC said.

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To date, there is no consistent evidence that an infectious disease is the culprit, CDC spokeswoman Kathy Harben said.

Health officials in multiple states said it is still unclear whether there's a connection between the cases or whether vaping definitively caused these illnesses - which led to multiple people being hospitalized.

The CDC has called the use of e-cigarettes whose flavorings have helped popularize them with young users as "unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults", as most contain nicotine and that this "can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s".

Juul also noted that, according to some media reports, several incidences of lung illness linked to vaping have involved THC, found in marijuana, "a Schedule 1, controlled substance that we do not sell", the company said.

Pulmonary illnesses have been linked to vaping in the past, but this marks the first time doctors have identified a pattern.

The patients reported using e-cigarettes or vaping in the weeks and months before they were hospitalized.

Back in April, the US Food and Drug Administration also began an investigation regarding seizures, reportedly experienced among e-cigarette users. A number of counterfeit and adulterated products have also hit the market, which may have other additives or ingredients.

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