Almost all vaping illness patients end up hospitalized, CDC says
The news about the damaging effects of e-cigarette vaping has been making the headlines over the past couple of months. Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a new shocking revelation. CDC officials said almost all patients with a mysterious vaping-related lung disease have been hospitalized. CDC is tentatively calling the illness “e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury,” or EVALI.
Since the news of vaping-related lung injuries broke back in February, public attention has shifted to e-cigarette startup Juul. The once unicorn startup is now under the microscope from government regulators and the media. It is uncertain at this point if Juul could withstand daily onslaught of negative news. Juul is currently under investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In April 2018, the FDA requested that Juul Labs turn over documents to better understand the reportedly high rates of youth use and the particular youth appeal of these products.
In a Friday announcement, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, told reporters on a call Friday, “I can’t stress enough the seriousness of these lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products.” He also added: “This is a critical issue and even while we learn more, we need to take steps to prevent additional cases.”
To date, at least 26 people have died from the disease that first came to light in July and nearly 1,300 people have fallen ill so far, the CDC said, adding that the spread of the illness shows no signs of abating. U.S. health officials are tentatively calling it EVALI, short for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury.
Below are the latest outbreak information provided by CDC. The information is updated every Thursday.
- As of October 8, 2019, 1,299* lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, have been reported to CDC from the District of Columbia, 1 U.S. territory (USVI) and all 49 states except Alaska.
- Twenty-six deaths have been confirmed in 21 states: Alabama, California (3), Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (2), Illinois, Indiana, Kansas (2), Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. More deaths are under investigation.
- The median age of deceased patients was 49 years and ranged from 17 to 75 years.
- Among 1,043 patients with data on age and sex:
- 70% of patients are male.
- The median age of patients is 24 years and ages range from 13 to 75 years.
- 80% of patients are under 35 years old.
- By age group category:
- 15% of patients are under 18 years old;
- 21% of patients are 18 to 20 years old;
- 18% of patients are 21 to 24 years old;
- 26% of patients are 25 to 34 years old; and
- 20% of patients are 35 years or older.
- To date, national and state data suggest that products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g., friends, family members, or illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.
- All patients have a reported history of e-cigarette product use, or vaping, and no consistent evidence of an infectious cause has been discovered. Therefore, the suspected cause is exposure to a chemical or chemicals.
- The specific chemical exposure(s) causing lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, remains unknown at this time.
- Among 573 patients with information on substances used in e-cigarette, or vaping, products in the 3 months prior to symptom onset**:
- About 76% reported using THC-containing products; 32% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
- About 58% reported using nicotine-containing products; 13% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
- This complex investigation spans almost all states, involves over a thousand patients, and involves a wide variety of brands and substances and e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Case counts continue to increase and new cases are being reported, which makes it more difficult to determine the cause or causes of this outbreak.