HHS speaks out on illnesses linked to e-cigarettes

HHS has jumped into the fray over the ongoing investigation into e-cigarettes amid more than 200 lung disease injuries associated with vaping. As of Aug. 27, 215 possible cases of pulmonary illnesses, including one death, have been reported across 25 states. The cause of the illnesses is linked only through the use of e-cigarettes.

The outbreak of lung illnesses has led the CDC to investigate as the number of cases rises. HHS is also getting involved. The issue also highlights how the products have been sold in an unregulated market.

“HHS and the Trump Administration are using every tool we have to get to the bottom of this deeply concerning outbreak of illnesses in Americans who use e-cigarettes,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “More broadly, we will continue using every regulatory and enforcement power we have to stop the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. This situation, and the rising tide of youth tobacco use, is a top public health priority for the Trump Administration and every leader at HHS.”

While e-cigarette use is to blame for the illnesses, the cases have not been linked to one specific product or substance. The CDC has sent out a Health Alert Network bulletin to provide information about the issue to clinicians.

As the investigation continues, the CDC has recommended that users of e-cigarettes who are concerned about the illnesses stop using the products, nor buy them off the street or modify the products with other substances.