Eight more people have died and 239 more have taken ill during the last week from vaping-related illnesses, according to the latest weekly figures released Thursday by Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All total, 2,290 cases of e-cigarette-related lung injuries have been reported to the CDC, up from the Nov. 14 total of 2,051. Forty-seven deaths have been confirmed in 25 states and the District of Columbia, up from last week’s total of 39.
The American Medical Association is calling for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.
The AMA’s House of Delegates has adopted a policy to “urgently advocate" at state and federal levels to ban all e-cigarette and vaping products.
In early November, health officials said they've found evidence to suggest vitamin E acetate might be a “very strong culprit” in the slew of deadly vaping-related illnesses reported nationwide.
Vitamin E acetate was found in the fluids of 29 people who fell ill as part of the outbreak, CDC officials said.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat liquid, turning it into vapor for inhaling. They are an increasingly popular alternative to combustible cigarettes.
Symptoms, which worsen over time, include coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Investigators are increasingly focused on thickeners and additives found in illegal THC cartridges sold on the black market. Authorities caution that people who decide to continue vaping should not buy products off the street, and they should not modify or add any substances to the products.
While almost 80% of patients are under 35, older people are far more likely to die from the mysterious lung illness. The average age of those dying is 49, according to the CDC.
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