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A man smokes an electronic cigarette at Juul Labs Inc. that it is investigating a puzzling outburst of severe pulmonary diseases related to the use of electronic cigarettes or vaping.
Between June 28 and August 15, health officials counted 94 likely cases of severe lung disease in 14 countries, the CDC reported. Officials have not found conclusive evidence to suggest that the infectious disease is behind the cases, the agency added. The only common theme so far seems to be the recent vaping of sufferers.
The CDC works in close consultation with employees in some of the hardest-hit states, including Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Indiana and Minnesota. Wisconsin itself reports 30 of 94 cases.
In many diseases, people experience shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, coughing and weight loss, the Wisconsin Department of Health reported in its outbreak investigation. The cases mainly occur in teens and young adults, the agency said. But now officials are monitoring cases in older adults as well.
Investigators are trying to find out more about the specific e-cig products and brands that sufferers use. Wisconsin officials are reported to have sent several cartridges of suspected vapin liquids to the Food and Drug Administration for testing. Wisconsin health officials note that "
In one Wisconsin case, 26- A year-old man with asthma found himself in an intensive care unit in July having difficulty breathing after vaping THC oil he bought on the street, NPR reported. (THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.) Oxygen levels in human blood dropped to only 1
0% and he was placed in a medically induced coma.
Now outside the hospital, he told NPR that he suspected his illness was related to THC oil. "The oil in the cartridge was really soaked. And it was colored, it didn't have to be that color, it had to be dark amber," he said.
He warned other THC people, "If you are going to smoke, just stick to the dispensaries. Don't buy things off the street where you don't know where it comes from."
Juul Labs, the dominant e-cigarette manufacturer in the United States that has made careful scrutiny by federal regulators, said in an email statement to Reuters that "[l] conducts any health-related events related to the use of steam products , we are watching these reports. "
"These reports reaffirm the need to keep all tobacco and nicotine products out of the hands of young people through significant regulation of access and enforcement," the release said. Jul went on to note that some of the cases appear to be related to THC, a controlled substance that the company does not sell.
"In addition, we must ensure that illegal products, such as counterfeit, copying and delivery of controlled substances, remain out of the market and away from youth," Juul writes.
While e-cigarette proponents claim that products are significantly safer than traditional cigarettes and can help smokers quit, Juul et al face grave criticism for claiming that they release their products to teens helping to ignite what the FDA has defined as an "epidemic of e-cigarette use for young people."
Beyond the potential for lifelong addiction to nicotine, health officials fear the potential long-term health effects of delve liquids on health which is found to have a wide variety of chemicals and components. Some contain flavors that have been tested for food safety but not for inhalation. Researchers report that some liquids from vape – including those sold by Juul – can create irritating compounds when heated.