Published: Wed, September 04, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

ODH: More reports of illness after vaping

ODH: More reports of illness after vaping

Health officials have said reported cases of the illness across various states appear to be similar, but a lot remains unknown.

On Aug. 23, the Ohio Department of Health said six cases were under investigation. Nicotine products can be vaped, but almost all of the three dozen vaping-linked illnesses reported recently in Wisconsin were tied to THC products, according to AP.

State health officials have confirmed that three people have suffered from a severe pulmonary illness likely due to vaping.

That said, they used different devices and products and some industry experts and health officials have suggested the devices may have been altered or used with substances sold on the street, not purchased from a licensed company.

Investigators at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division said Tuesday that they received reports that the person who died in July had recently used a vaping device containing cannabis bought from an Oregon store.

"I wouldn't be surprised if, you know, these kind of come to light as people think, 'Oh I did have that puzzling case of a person who was otherwise healthy and then came in and needed to be on the ventilator, '" she said.

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They say many people in OH have gotten sick from a respiratory disease associated with vaping. In addition, health officials are advising providers to ask patients with unexpected respiratory illnesses about their use of e-cigarettes and vaping.

Nancy Gerking-assistant director of public health in Kings County, California-said, "We believe that [patients with the illness] are getting empty cartridges from somewhere and filling them with their own products".

Health officials said patients have been hospitalized following symptoms such as difficulty breathing and chest pain.

"Before the new illness reports, OHA was already concerned about the health risks of vaping products", officials said.

The MSDH recommends that smokers who are attempting to quit cigarettes should use evidence-based treatments such as counseling or FDA-approved medications. The 193 figure included unconfirmed cases, health officials previously told reporters. "More broadly, we will continue using every regulatory and enforcement power we have to stop the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use".

"We desperately need the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to exercise its authority to regulate e-cigarettes comprehensively", said Kevin Schroth, a member of Rutgers' Center for Tobacco Studies, noting that the devices have been in use for a dozen years and the FDA has had the authority to regulate them for a decade. In addition, anti-smoking advocates like the Campaign for the Tobacco Free Kids have turned their attention to vaping in recent years, promising to use the same techniques they used to battle big tobacco.

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