AMA warns against e-cigs in light of lung illness; 5 deaths
- Author: Ismael Montgomery Sep 10, 2019,
Sep 10, 2019, 12:40
As of late last week, five deaths in the USA had been attributed to the illness.
At a most recent count, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports at least 450 cases of pulmonary disease associated with vaping in half of USA states. There's evidence they can damage the lungs, and they're also a path to nicotine addiction. On the minimum, two persons with the illness that the doctors could not even guess have died - one of them in IL while the other one in Oregon.
Vitamin E may has been proven to be a very risky additive, but doctors and health officials have yet to gather enough evidence that prove unregulated products are the only chemicals behind this outbreak. Researchers also have noted that the chemicals in vaping liquids "undergo thermal degradation" when they are heated, and they produce new compounds that are potentially harmful. Nicotine is found in many plants, including tobacco.
The New York State Vapor Association however warned government officials that confusing e-cigarettes with unregulated street drugs will likely cause hundreds of thousands of New York users, who may have never used illicit THC products, to return to smoking cigarettes. He explained that there is such a broad category of vaping products that giving people such advice is not helpful at all.
Illustrative: Vaping devices that were confiscated from students in such places as restrooms or hallways at a United States school.
There have been no reports of the same sickness in Canada, but Health Canada issued a warning recently, urging people who vape to watch for symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath and chest pain. Some have been sick to the stomach, felt very exhausted, suffered weight loss or developed high body temperatures.
"While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products", the CDC said.
"Many of the persons have been associated with using THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, but not all of them", said Dr. Philip Huang, Director of the Dallas County Health Department.
The retailers said that's because they already were selling only vape cartridges they know are pure and uncut, and therefore safe for consumers to use.
There was also a lot of talk about vitamin E acetate, which was identified in high levels in nearly all of the cannabis-containing samples analyzed by the New York Department of Health. It was found in 13 e-cigarettes collected from eight patients.
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One report noted that most of the 53 illnesses reported in IL and Wisconsin were related to THC vaping products. Most of the reported cases were of young men.
Health officials in the USA are also investigating a possible connection to vitamin E acetate in one product which initial investigation indicates it may be connected to several vaping illness cases.
Doctor David Christiani is with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in MA. Experts say symptoms could appear days or weeks after vaping.
The tweet ended with a mention of the Department of Health and Human Services, and quickly gained thousands of likes and retweets. Just a week earlier, the CDC reported the number of possible cases at 215. There were 450 suspected or confirmed cases reported to the CDC as of Friday.
A handful of victims of the illness have died according to public health officials. But she added there has been a marked increase since last spring.
"We need to determine if these cells are specific for the illness or whether they are also seen in vaping patients who are not ill and don't have symptoms".
She added, "This is too important".
Dr. Dixie Harris is very clear about the risky effects and illnesses that electronic cigarettes can cause therefore he has a very straightforward and honest warning for all the people out there: Do Not Vape!
The FDA issued a stern warning letter to the company Monday, flagging various claims by Juul, including that its products are "much safer than cigarettes".
"We're seeing anywhere from 30 to 60 percent (of high school students) having at least tried it, and it's very quick to become addicted", Kilgore said.
Doctors have identified a previously unrecognized characteristic of the vaping-related respiratory illness that has been emerging in clusters across the U.S.in recent months.