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Every single state, except for Alaska, has now reported illnesses related to vaping, bringing the nationwide number up to nearly 1,500. But health officials are still unclear about what’s causing the serious lung injuries.
An update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday laid out the latest figures and facts.
- There have been 1,479 lung injury cases tied to vaping.
- 33 people have died in 24 states.
- 70% of the patients were male and 79% of patients were under 35.
- All of the patients reported using vaping products and 78% of patients reported using THC-containing products. And 31% of patients reported exclusively using THC products.
The CDC reported that in most cases the THC products were obtained from “informal” sources, meaning off the street, from a friend, or something similar. But while health officials have connected many cases to THC vaping products, they’re still not clear on what chemical, or chemicals, are causing the potentially fatal injuries.
“No one compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak,” read the CDC’s latest update. “Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation.”
The first vaping-related death happened in August and the numbers have been rising ever since. The Trump administration plans to ban all flavored vaping products — although that’s seemingly more an effort to stop kids from vaping, rather than prevent lung injuries. But with the rise in illnesses, health officials want Americans to cut out vaping entirely.
“The only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products,” the CDC said Thursday.
Juul, by far the most popular vape brand, has stopped selling certain fruity flavors. Shops across the country, meanwhile, have had to shut down as states and cities enacted bans on certain vaping products.
Cover image: FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 photo, a man using an electronic cigarette exhales in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)