The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating 450 reported cases of severe lung disease linked to the use of e-cigarettes. So far, five deaths have also been associated with vaping. The use of e-cigarettes is causing “healthy, young people to become ill,” but medical professionals have not been able to pinpoint exactly why.
As it explores these cases of lung disease, the CDC is beginning to see trends – and cautioning people against the use of e-cigarette products while the investigation is underway.
Health officials also recommend that users of Juul and other “vape pens” keep an eye out for symptoms, which include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
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Young adults between 18 and 25 account for most of the 450 cases of pulmonary illness, and their symptoms were usually mistaken for pneumonia. So far, no evidence of infectious disease has been found, which leads expert speculation that these instances of lung disease are associated with chemical exposure. Additionally, users of cannabis products seem especially vulnerable, perhaps due to the chemical compound, vitamin E acetate. Aside from these theories, however, nothing has been confirmed
Meanwhile, a CDC advisory offers guidelines for clinicians, health officials, and the public. Health-wise, the advice is to “hold-off” and “look-out” until the investigation is complete. Legally, however, Juul and other manufacturers are already facing lawsuits claiming addiction and ailments of the lung.
Attorneys are finding that Juul and other providers inappropriately marketed to their products to children and challenging the company’s claim that vaping is a safer alternative to cigarettes.
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