Oct 3, 2019

Study: Vaping-associated lung disease could be caused by toxic fumes

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

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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

68 reported dead from vaping-related lung illness

Photo: Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images

68 people have died from a lung injury associated with e-cigarette use in 29 states and the District of Columbia, 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 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