CDC explained that the investigation is focusing on lab tests from NY state health officials that showed vitamin E acetate in numerous cannabis e-cigarette cartridges that caused sickness. Dr. Dana Meaney Delman, who is serving as the incident manager of CDC's response to this outbreak urges, "While the investigation is ongoing, CDC has advised that individuals consider not using e-cigarettes because as of now, this is the primary means of preventing this type of severe lung disease".
The CDC said it has not identified a cause of the outbreak, but all reported cases have a history of e-cigarette use, and no evidence of infectious disease has been found.
Youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not now use tobacco products should not use e-cigarettes.
It asks providers to report any case of a person experiencing otherwise unexplained progressive symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, or weight loss, of any severity, and an abnormal chest imaging study associated with vaping.
Constantino said many people who vape have been "on pins and needles" for the investigation results, and she is concerned that the reports of a link to vaping THC may give people an excuse to ignore the warnings. Experts don't know what specific vaping products the person used.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has faced mounting pressure to curb a huge spike in teenage use of e-cigarettes, a trend that coincided with the rising popularity of Juul e-cigarettes. Merrill says she's had patients who have come in with symptoms associated with vaping. Her call for action comes just days after health officials urged people to stop vaping until they can figure out why hundreds have been diagnosed with serious lung illnesses.
Duchin said people credit e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking cigarettes, but he cautions that vaping is not an approved smoking cessation measure and people who want to quit should consult with a doctor instead. The vaping industry has blamed the surge in the contagion on black market products, but health officials have yet to rule out any vaping devices as a potential cause. More than 450 potential cases have been reported in almost three dozen states, according to the CDC, which is working with the FDA, state, and local health officials to investigate the condition.
'If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop.
"We are continuing to work on investigating all of these cases to determine whether they are similar to what has been seen nationally, or different". Lee Norman, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, told NBC News.
The deadline for e-cigarette companies to demonstrate to the FDA that their products can help people quit smoking cigarettes is in 2020.