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Almost 100 cases of "mysterious lung illnesses" linked to vaping and e-cigarette use in 14 states have prompted an investigation from state and federal health officials, reports the Washington Post.
Why it matters: "Officials are warning clinicians and the public to be on alert for what they describe as a severe and potentially dangerous lung injury," WaPo reporters Lena Sun and Lindsey Bever write.
- Many of the people who have been hospitalized are young adults and teenagers.
- There are at least 31 confirmed cases of lung illnesses associated with vaping. Officials are investigating dozens more, per Post. There are 15 confirmed cases in Wisconsin alone.
- Some of the symptoms include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or chest pains, says NPR.
- Some of the cases seem similar. However officials remain uncertain whether the sickness results from the vaping devices, the ingredients or possible contaminants users inhale.
Kim Barnes, mother of a 26-year-old from Burlington, Wis., who has asthma and had been vaping for about a year — then was hospitalized last month and attached to a ventilator:
- "You need to sit your kids down and tell them the dangers of this stuff."
The bottom line: "[M]edical authorities believe there still isn’t sufficient data to know their full effects, especially on young people," the Post reports.