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Warning: CDC Sees Outbreak Of Vaping-Related Diseases In CA

Patch logo Patch 9/21/2019 Emily Holland
Six deaths have been confirmed across the United States from complications caused by e-cigarette products. © Shutterstock Six deaths have been confirmed across the United States from complications caused by e-cigarette products.

CALIFORNIA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a multistate outbreak of severe lung diseases related to e-cigarette products and has this warning, for now, as a bottom line: “While this investigation is ongoing, consider not using e-cigarette products.”

As of September 17, 530 cases of lung illnesses reported to the CDC are suspected of being related to e-cigarettes in 38 different states and one U.S. territory.

Puffing a cloud of smoke from an e-cig suddenly isn’t so cool, if it ever was.

Out of the hundreds of reported cases, there have been two deaths in California.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has identified 84 potential cases of acute lung disease among people with a recent history of vaping, some of whom vaped unlicensed or unregulated cannabis products, beginning in late June.

"Most patients reported purchasing vaping materials from street vendors or pop-up shops (temporary, unregulated, unlicensed sellers)," the CDPH website said.

At the start of 2019, more than half a dozen bills aimed at reining in the vaping industry were proposed, but only one bill, a proposal requiring that vaping paraphernalia be "conspicuously labeled" as a tobacco product, has made it to the governor's desk, CalMatters reported.

However, earlier this month Assemblyman Adam Gray announced he was tabling his bill that would have placed new regulations on the e-cigarette and vaping industry, according to CalMatters.

Related >> Vaping Industry Breathes Easier: For Now, CA Won't Restrict Its Business

The investigation has not identified any one substance or e-cigarette product that is directly linked to all cases, and there is also no evidence the diseases are infectious, which means the illnesses are most likely associated with chemical exposure, according to the CDC.

The health protection agency provides recommendations for the public to best avoid any e-cigarette related disease.

  • Consider not using the products while the investigation is ongoing.
  • Youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products.
  • Women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
  • Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products.
  • If you do use e-cigarette products, you should not buy these products off the street.

Here are symptoms being investigated:

  • Patients in this investigation have reported symptoms such as:
    • cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • fatigue, fever, or weight loss
  • Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. A pulmonary infection does not appear to be causing the symptoms, which have generally not improved with antibiotic treatment alone.

Here is the full list of the 38 states and one U.S. territory with possible reported cases of e-cigarette related issues.

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
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