Published: Sat, September 21, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

U.S. vaping illnesses top 500, Missouri man is 8th death

U.S. vaping illnesses top 500, Missouri man is 8th death

This is the United States' eighth death linked to severe lung injury and illness tied to e-cigarettes.

He developed respiratory problems and was hospitalized August 22 before being transferred on September 4 to Mercy St. Louis, where he died this week, the health department said in a news release.

Investigators still haven't identified one cause of the rash of vaping illnesses, Schuchat explained at the presser, adding that most patients with lung injuries reported having used THC vaping devices.

He developed shortness of breath that deteriorated and developed into acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Seven deaths have been reported. CDC health officials said on Thursday they expect more deaths to be reported.

To date, federal public health authorities have received reports of 530 cases in 38 other states and one US territory.

Seven people have died from vaping-related illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. Two-thirds of the cases nationwide involved 18- to 34-year-olds. Young people in particular have been affected by the epidemic, with about half of reported cases being in people under the age of 25, USA Today reported. It has also said that health-care professionals should ask patients about their use of e-cigarette products if they have respiratory symptoms. Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., and Peter King, R-N.Y., announced Thursday that they formed a new congressional caucus focused on curbing teen vaping.

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"We do expect others", Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, told reporters, referring to the number of deaths.

Zeller said no single substance or compound, including THC or Vitamin E acetate, has been linked to all of the cases so far. Grade 1 students learn vaping is part of a list of behaviours that can be harmful to a person's health while Grade 4 students learn about the risks of vaping in substance use and addictions lectures.

"We are in desperate need of facts", Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said. With the spread showing no signs of abating, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has opened a criminal investigation into the illnesses.

The department is recommending that Virginians "consider not using any e-cigarette products". Governors are calling for prohibitions on flavors like bubble gum, cotton candy and banana split, which critics say are meant to entice young people into trying vaping.

The CDC has been recommending that people who are concerned about these health risks steer clear of e-cigarettes or vaping products, and no one should be buying them off the street or modifying them in any way. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, like that found in tobacco, but some contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

He didn't know when federal officials might determine which product or products are to blame.

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