- The Washington Times
Friday, October 18, 2019

Federal health officials are ramping up their investigation into vaping-related lung injuries as cases near 1,500.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday 1,479 confirmed and probable lung injury cases linked to e-cigarettes in 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thirty-three deaths have been confirmed in 24 states.

The CDC is conducting new lab testing to try to better understand the chemical exposures contributing to the outbreak.

The public health agency said it is testing chemicals found in lung fluid, blood or urine of sick patients. The CDC also is testing “pathologic specimens,” such as lung biopsies or autopsy samples, of patients.

The CDC also will test aerosol emissions for e-cigarette products and e-liquids that sick patients used.

Of 849 patients with vaping-related lung injuries, 78% reported using THC-based products with or without nicotine products, 31% reported exclusively using THC products, 58% reported using nicotine products with or without THC and 10% reported solely using nicotine products.

Patients range from 13 to 75 years old, with the average age of 23.

Leading e-cigarette company Juul said Thursday that it is suspending the sale of all of its flavored products, except tobacco and menthol, pending review from the Food and Drug Administration.

Previously, consumers could buy Juul’s flavored products through its website. Juul’s products contain nicotine, a disclaimer stated on the company’s website.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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