Sep 19, 2019

Vaping-related illnesses up nearly 50% since last week: CDC

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

The number of possible cases of severe respiratory illnesses among people who vaped nicotine or cannabis products has jumped by nearly 50% to 530 in 38 states and 1 territory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

Why it matters: There have been 8 confirmed deaths related to e-cigarette use, but no single product or substance has been definitively tied to the illnesses, the CDC said in its media briefing. This includes products purchased from unauthorized retailers. The CDC still advises that people should avoid using e-cigarettes.

“I wish we had more answers ... I know this is very frustrating for the public. This is very frustrating for us. This is a complex investigation."
— Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at CDC

The CDC, Food and Drug Administration and individual states are having difficulty given the inconsistency of the cases. Some people are unable to talk about their illness given their symptoms, and in other cases, people are hesitant to disclose using illicit products.

  • The CDC says nearly three-quarters of patients are male, and two-thirds are 18–34 years old.
  • On Sept. 12, there were 380 cases in 36 states and 1 territory.
  • Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC. Many patients have reported using marijuana and nicotine, while some reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.
  • The FDA said Thursday that the agency's Office of Criminal Investigations has been pursuing a parallel investigation since the illnesses were first reported.

Background: Many states and the White House are pushing major anti-vaping efforts. Individual states are testing everything from banning flavored cartridges to public service announcements aimed at teens.

  • New data released Wednesday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse confirmed that the number of 8th-, 10th- and 12th-graders using e-cigarettes has doubled in the past 2 years.

What to watch: The agencies expect the number of deaths to rise.

Go deeper: The global anti-vaping tipping point

Go deeper

CDC confirms 2,807 hospital cases of lung injury linked to vaping

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

There are 2,807 confirmed hospital cases of lung injury associated with vaping in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as of Feb 18.

What's new: Because of the consistent declines in new EVALI cases since Sept. 2019, as well as the identification of vitamin E acetate as a primary cause of EVALI, Tuesday's report will be the final CDC update on the number of hospitalized EVALI cases and deaths nationally.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 25, 2020 - Health

CDC: THC products linked to vaping-related lung injuries

Vaping liquids and cartridges. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The CDC announced Friday that THC vape products have been linked to a majority of patients with vaping-related lung injuries, citing to data from 1 local and 1 national study.

Why it matters: While the CDC is not shifting its focus away from nicotine, officials said 77% of those with exposure histories reported using products that contain THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, or both THC-containing products and nicotine-containing products.

Go deeperArrowSep 27, 2019

FDA: Stop using THC vaping products

A man uses an e-cigarette in D.C. in 2018. Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

The FDA released a consumer alert on Friday stating the public should not use vaping products that contain THC, the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.

Why it matters: Officials from the Centers for Disease Control say that THC vape products have been linked to a majority of patients with vaping-related lung injuries, which have caused 18 deaths as of Oct. 4. There are currently 1,080 confirmed and probable cases of the lung injury, per the CDC.

Go deeperArrowOct 5, 2019