Vaping-related lung injuries now in all states but one, new CDC numbers show
There are 1,299 lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette products in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands as of Tuesday, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alaska is the only state without a reported case.
That's an increase from last week, when there were 1,080 cases of vaping-related lung injuries reported in 48 states and the US Virgin Islands.
Among 1,043 patients with data on sex and age, about 80% are under 35 years old, 15% are under 18 years old and 21% are 18 to 20 years old. The median age of patients is 24 years and they range in age from 13 to 75 years. About 70% of patients are male.
The CDC on Thursday also identified 26 vaping-related deaths in 21 states.
Individual states have reported a total of 27 deaths: three in California; two each from Georgia, Kansas and Oregon; and one each from Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
More deaths are under investigation, according to the CDC. The patients who died ranged in age from 17 to 75.
The number of vaping illnesses in Wisconsin is up to 73, with 15 still under investigation. In the City of Milwaukee, there are six confirmed illnesses linked to vaping, and two additional cases that are under investigation.
The CDC, US Food and Drug Administration, state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are continuing to investigate the multistage outbreak. The specific chemical exposure causing these lung injuries remains unknown.
The CDC has reported that all patients in the outbreak had a history of using e-cigarette products, and most have reported a history of using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis.
Last week, the FDA warned consumers to stop using THC vaping products as investigations into vaping-related lung injuries and deaths continue.
In a statement released on Friday, FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said that the ongoing outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries continues to underscore the need "to gather critical information and provide consumers with actionable information to help best protect themselves and their loved ones."
"Additionally, consumers who choose to use any vaping products should not modify or add any substances such as THC or other oils to products purchased in stores and should not purchase any vaping products, including those containing THC, off the street or from other illicit channels," he said, adding that "according to recent findings, most of the patients impacted by these illnesses reported using THC-containing products, suggesting THC products are playing a role in the these illnesses."
For people who choose to continue using vaping products, particularly those containing THC, Sharpless urged them to monitor their bodies for symptoms and promptly seek medical attention if they have concerns about their health.
E-cigarettes should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women or people who have not previously used tobacco products, according to CDC.