One has died from what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speculates are related to the vaping condition. Nearly 200 other cases of varying severity have been reported nationwide, described by the CDC as "heavy unexplained respiratory system after reporting e-cigarette use or e-cigarette use."
No information was provided about the deceased except that adults living in Illinois and having died of any pulmonary disease, exacerbated or caused by vaping or e-cigarette use. Others affected in this condition were between 17-38 years old and mostly men, Dr. CDC added during a press conference earlier today.
As little is known for certain about this growing problem, the team hesitated to go beyond the question that there was good reason to believe that all these cases were vaping related, although they differed in some details. They excluded the infectious disease.
CDC's Executive Vice President for Noncommunicable Diseases, Dr. Ileana Arias, explained during the call after expressing his condolences:
The CDC is currently providing consultations to public health services on the accumulation of pulmonary diseases related to lung diseases vaping or use of e-cigarettes … While some cases appear to be similar and related to the use of e-cigarette products, more information is needed to determine what causes the disease.
In many cases, patients report a gradual onset of symptoms, including difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and / or hospitalization prior to cases. Some also report gastrointestinal diseases … no specific product has been identified in all cases, no product is definitively linked to the disease
Although the cases appear to be similar, it is not clear whether these cases have a common cause or if they are different diseases with similar presentations.
An FDA spokesman said during the interview that his agency was also concerned with, in particular, whether these were products that came under its authority. They may have been imported, for example, or sold under the table.
All involved are still in the information gathering phase, as you may know, but it seems serious enough that they felt the need to announce this. In the meantime, they ask doctors to report cases that they suspect may be related.
"Currently, countries are conducting their own specific epidemiological studies and we provide assistance when needed," explained CDC's Dr. Josh Sheer. "The CDC is working on a system for collecting, summarizing and analyzing data at national level to better characterize this disease."
As the mechanism is unknown, it is unclear what the real danger is. Is this any by-product of nicotine cartridges or THC? Is it steam itself? Only at certain temperatures or concentrations? Does it directly affect the lungs or enter the bloodstream? Nobody knows yet ̵
CDC's Dr. Brian King became acquainted with a little more detail about the possibilities, explaining that while there is no specific Chemical can be said to be the problem, it is more about a desire for exploration rather than a desire for potentially harmful chemicals.
"We know that electronic cigarettes do not emit a harmless aerosol," he explained. "Various harmful constituents have been identified, including things like ultra-fine particulates, heavy metals such as lead and cancer-causing chemicals. And the flavors used in electronic cigarettes to give it a sweet aroma, diacetyl, is associated with severe respiratory illness. "
" We have not specifically linked any of these specific ingredients to the present cases, but we do know that cigarette aerosol is not harmless, "King concluded.
He also responded to the question of why we suddenly see many of these cases appearing to be problematic all this time, but only recently have hospitals and other organizations given due care in relation to their use of electronic cigarettes.
Little research has been done on the potential health effects of vaping and no long-term effects, as devices have only recently gained popularity – long before regulation and long-term research.
Studies published just last month by Yale found that Juul vape pens produce chemicals that are not listed on the package, some of which are known to be irritants.
"People often assume that these e-liquids are the final product after they are mixed. But reactions are creating new molecules in e-liquids, and this happens not only in electronic liquids from small vape stores, but also in those of the largest manufacturers in the United States, "says a news release from Hano Eritropel in Yale. I asked Juul for comment at the time, and did not get a response.
This vaping works as a way to quit smoking – which we know to be absolutely detrimental to your health – seems clear. But it remains to be understood how much less of the proposed risks of vaping.
If you use vaping products and experience coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue or chest pain, tell your doctor.