Lung disease illnesses, deaths linked e-cigarettes continue to rise

The number of lung injury cases reported from around the country has risen to 530, according to the CDC’s latest update. The number of reported deaths has been upped to seven, as of September 19.

The latest numbers come just a week after the Trump administration announced it would soon ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

The outbreak of lung injuries is related to e-cigarette use, or vaping, and the CDC has launched an investigation along with several states to determine the exact cause. Of most concern is the number of younger people being diagnosed with lung disease as a result of vaping. Two-thirds of the reported cases are 18 to 34 years old, according to the agency. Another 16% of cases are under 18 years old, while 17% are 35 years or older.

The CDC has yet to determine the specific cause of the lung injuries, but based on initial data, “most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC,” the agency stated. Another possible explanation is vitamin E acetate in the products, which may be causing harm to people.

As the number of cases has climbed over the past month, raising fears across the country about the safety of these unregulated products, the CDC has issued some recommendations. For those who are concerned about health risks, the CDC simply recommends refraining from using e-cigarettes or vaping products. In addition, while some people have used vaping to stop cigarette smoking, the agency urges people not to return to smoking cigarette instead.

Lastly, people should visit a healthcare provider if they exhibit any symptoms of lung injury, including shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever or weight loss.