HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —
The Pennsylvania Health Department says one person in the state has died from lung injuries associated with vaping and it’s investigating dozens of other suspected or confirmed cases.
The state’s health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, announced the death Friday and said Pennsylvania has also reported nine confirmed cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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The ban cuts off a huge future market from e-cigarette makers at a time when the number of people smoking worldwide is declining. It could dash the expansion plans of companies such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International (PM.N) in the country.
“These novel products come with attractive appearances and multiple flavours and their use has increased exponentially and acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children,” India’s health ministry said.
The ban also covers the production, import and advertising of e-cigarettes – but not the use of them. It comes at a time when vaping is facing increased scrutiny in other countries.
An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of electronic cigarettes continues to spread to new patients and states, and public health officials say it’s too soon to point to a cause.
According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 380 confirmed and probable cases have been identified in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The CDC has confirmed six deaths, and a seventh death has been reported by public health officials in Tulare County, Calif.
Hundreds of people have been hospitalized with severe lung disease linked to vaping. Public health agencies are investigating what’s behind the alarming symptoms.
The Trump administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes as federal health officials call for restrictions to combat an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease that has sickened hundreds and killed at least six people, U.S. health secretary Alex Azar told reporters Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration is currently finalizing its guidance to remove all non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, from the market. Vaping companies like Juul have been criticized for hooking children on e-cigarettes with their fruity flavors like mango and creme. The surge in underaged vaping, which U.S. health officials have labeled as an “epidemic,” is one of the reasons why they plan to ban them — at least until the FDA can thoroughly review their safety, Azar said after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on the issue.
Nearly three dozen of those cases are in New York state, and investigators there say they are now zeroing in on vitamin E as a possible culprit. Health officials say state lab tests detected high levels of vitamin E in cartridges of cannabis vaping products used by people who vaped and suffered serious lung damage.
“At least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing,” according to a statement from the New York State Department of Health.
Michigan is the first state to ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes in a move the governor says will curb teen vaping.
WISCONSIN (WFRV) — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says an investigation of lung disease among people who reported vaping shows a majority of the patients claim they inhaled THC products.
Officials say 89 percent of the 27 cases investigated show patients reported inhaling THC products such as waves and oils via e-cigarettes or other vaping devices.
DHS says they continue to investigate all possible causes and say the connection to THC products is based on interviews with cases. They add the agency is working with the FDA to determine the contents of used vaping products.
Patient dies from severe respiratory illness, possibly from vaping
As many as 50 people in at least six states have come down with breathing illnesses that may be linked to e-cigarettes or other vaping products.
No deaths have been reported. Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting. Doctors say the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury.
Cases have been reported in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Officials in New York, California and Indiana have been looking into similar reports, too.
Health officials have only been counting certain lung illnesses in which the person had vaped within three months. Most are teens, but some adult cases have also been reported.
No single vaping device or liquid is associated with the illnesses.
Eight teens were hospitalized in July with seriously damaged lungs in Wisconsin, the state Department of Health Services reported Thursday.
“We suspect that these injuries were caused by vaping,” said Dr. Michael Gutzeit, chief medical officer at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin where the teens were admitted, at a press conference.
Their symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue, worsened over days or weeks before the patients arrived at Children’s Hospital. Some reported fever, anorexia, chest pain, nausea and diarrhea. Scans and X-rays showed inflammation or swelling throughout both lungs, said Gutzeit.
All eight patients, who live in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Winnebago counties, tested negative for infectious diseases and reported vaping in the weeks and months before their hospital admission.
“The severity of health condition has varied, with some patients needing assistance in order to breathe,” said Gutzeit. He added that the teens have shown improvement after treatment, but any long-term effects are not yet known. With “an exponential increase in the number of teens vaping,” Gutzeit is concerned that more teens will develop similar lung damage that requires hospital treatment.