New vaping illnesses confirmed in Northeast Ohio

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Although the clearest links continue to be be to black market and THC e-cigarettes, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration say that cases are not limited to these products.

Officials say "more than one thousand cases have been reported in 48 states, including 18 deaths reported in 15 states".

MA state health officials on Monday confirmed one death from a mysterious lung illness linked to e-cigarettes, bringing the total number of fatalities to 21 across 18 U.S. states.

Pregnant women should not use e-cigarettes and vaping products of any kind at any time during pregnancy.

Some 110 people in New York have vaping-related illnesses but the boy, who was treated at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, according to the New York Post, was the first to die in the state.

"The increasing number of lung injury cases we see associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, is deeply concerning", said CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D., in an October 3 media statement.(www.cdc.gov) "Unfortunately, this may be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the escalating health threat this outbreak poses to the American public, particularly youth and young adults".

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E-cigarettes have been billed as safer alternatives to combustible cigarettes and some studies have found they contain fewer carcinogens.

"We hope that this laboratory effort will provide additional information on the products, potential substances and clinical findings associated with e-cigarette use or vaping", Schuchat said. And the state warned against those that are homemade which often involve modifying or adding substances to products purchased at retail stores. The median age of patients in OH is 21. It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, use, and possess these products. If you don't use vaping devices, don't start.

"The leading hypothesis is that this is related to some chemical exposure from the vaping product that's leading to injury to the lung tissue itself", said Chan.

Though the investigation is ongoing and the cause remains unknown at this time.

Symptoms of the mysterious vaping-related illness include cough, shortness of breath or chest pain.

Public and political opinion appears to be hardening, however, with US Government announcing in September it would ban flavoured e-cigarette products - which are particularly attractive to young people - in the coming months.

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