CDC narrows investigation of mysterious vaping-related lung disease to 380 cases

How a Person Vapes, Not Just What a Person Vapes, Could Also Play a Big Role in Vaping Harm

How a Person Vapes, Not Just What a Person Vapes, Could Also Play a Big Role in Vaping Harm

Vaping has become popular, as many considered it healthier than smoking.

Missouri health officials have confirmed two state residents are suffering from lung illnesses related to vaping, and seven other possible cases are being investigated.

That's a smaller number of illnesses than the agency had previously stated because it has updated the way it reports cases of lung disease associated with e-cigarette use.

The result is that health officials now say there are 380 confirmed and probable cases in 36 states and one US territory.

"These cases look very much like overwhelming infection, like viral or bacterial pneumonia", but lab tests fail to find germs in lung fluids and blood, said Dr. Zack Moore, chief epidemiologist for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

A focus in the investigation has been customizable "third-generation" vaping devices, which allow users to load in different liquids for vaping.

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Vitamin E is typically used as a supplement or added to skincare products.

It also notes, "Until a definitive cause is known, persons should consider not using e-cigarettes".

For those who continue, officials said they should avoid buying vaping products on the street, using marijuana-derived oil with the products or modifying a store-bought vape product, and to avoid inhaling vitamin E acetate, an ingredient found in some vaping products. The CDC, "having the benefit for data all across the country, would be in a better position to nail that down". The most recent death was a man in Kansas who was over 50 years old and had underlying health issues, officials said.

The CDC defines confirmed cases as patients who developed a breathing illness after vaping and underwent extensive testing that ruled out an infection.

Almost 28 percent of USA adolescents surveyed this year said say they vaped at least once in the last 30 days, the government said.

The CDC's classification page for severe pulmonary illness with e-cigarette product use notes, "Based on available information, the disease is likely caused by an unknown chemical exposure; no single product or substance is conclusively linked to the disease".

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