Health Officials Issue New Warning On Vaping-Related Illnesses After New Fatalities

US authorities have identified hundreds of cases of lung illnesses among those who used vaping devices

Investigators are also uncertain about whether the cases have only been occurring recently, or were happening earlier but were not being linked to vaping because of a lack of awareness.

The Indiana Department of Health announced the third death on Friday, and hours later, officials in Minnesota confirmed that a fourth person had died. Remember, we still don't know if vitamin E acetate is really what's causing the illnesses.

Health officials and doctors have been unsure of what exactly about e-cigarettes is causing "healthy, young people to become ill", but the CDC said Friday that they are beginning to see trends. "We believe that a chemical exposure is likely associated with these illnesses, but more information is needed". The department did not clarify how many may be related to using vapes containing cannabis. Risky solvents and flavorings are frequently added to black market vape cartridges and a few additives, including vitamin E oil which is used in edible hemp oil products, appear to be a possible cause.

"Our laboratory is working closely with our federal and state partners to identify the products or substances that may be causing the illnesses and have received more than 120 samples from the states so far", acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in a statement.

But simply identifying a compound in samples doesn't mean that it caused the illnesses, officials stressed.

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A keener look at the patient base and syndrome came from details of 53 patients from IL and Wisconsin described in the article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Severe pulmonary disease related to vaping has taken another casualty in the United States, bringing the total death up to three. The numbers paint a harsh picture.

The researchers found that of the cases, 83 percent were male, and the average age of the patients was just 19 years old.

Cases of the disease have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia. Almost all of them suffered from respiratory and gastrointestinal issues, and 94 percent were hospitalized. One of them died.

Vaping in the US has been gaining in popularity for a few years now, so much so that selling e-cigarette devices and their liquid has become a booming business - Lamar County has at least three such stores. In addition to healthcare providers, the FDA is encouraging consumers who experienced unexpected health issues from vaping to submit details on the matter through its online reporting portal.

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