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A vaping store in New York City. Photo: by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Lung injuries from vaping are "most likely" caused by direct toxicity or tissue damage from noxious chemical fumes, the Mayo Clinic said in a statement Wednesday announcing new findings. But the researchers cautioned the study is in its early stages and based on a small sample size.

Why it matters: Scientists are trying to determine the cause of the vaping-associated lung disease, which has led to at least 17 deaths, more than 800 reported injuries in almost all U.S. states, and bans on various vaping and tobacco products.

Details: In the letter published Oct. 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers reviewed lung biopsies from 17 patients, "all of whom had vaped and were suspected to have vaping-associated lung injury," the Mayo Clinic said.

  • Lipids, fatty substances found in mineral oils were suspected as a possible cause of the lung injuries associated with vaping, but the researchers in this study found no evidence of this causing the tissue injury.
"While we can't discount the potential role of lipids, we have not seen anything to suggest this is a problem caused by lipid accumulation in the lungs. Instead, it seems to be some kind of direct chemical injury, similar to what one might see with exposures to toxic chemical fumes, poisonous gases and toxic agent."
— Mayo Clinic Arizona surgical pathologist Brandon Larsen, in statement

Go deeper: U.S. investigates fatality from vaping as lung-related illnesses rise

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
29 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say.