HSN waiting for more info from province on tracking vaping-related illnesses

Initial Probe into Vaping Deaths Find Many Use Marijuana Ingredient THC With Devices

The number of cases of severe lung illness tied to vaping soared this week, with 38 states and one USA territory reporting 530 confirmed and probable cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

Even as debate continues on whether the use of electronic cigarettes is safer than smoking cigarettes itself, India's cabinet has announced a ban on the production, import and sale of electronic cigarettes, saying they pose a risk to health. But others are new cases, the CDC's deputy director, Anne Schuchat, told reporters.

The CDC and various state health departments have reported widespread use of products containing THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance within cannabis, among people who became ill.

The federal health agency, which is currently conducting a large-scale investigation into the rash of lung illnesses nationwide, previously reported that they were looking into 450 cases before reducing that number to 380, but they now say it is once again rising to new highs.

"We are leaving no stone unturned", said Mitchell Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who spoke at the briefing.

Zeller also said the FDA has activated its law enforcement arm, the Office of Criminal Investigations for a parallel investigation to identify what is making people sick and how it's supplied.

IL has reported an eighth death related to the outbreak, state epidemiologist Jennifer Layden said on a conference call with reporters.

Donald Trump said last week his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes to combat a recent surge in underage vaping. Officials said they still hadn't determined a cause of the ailment, and that there didn't appear to be one product or substance involved in all instances. Of those cases, six people died.

In most, if not, all, of these cases, what begins as shortness of breath and chest pain progresses to coughing, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, fever and weightloss. And in some states, lawmakers are contemplating raising taxes on vaping products as a way to discourage their use. But "identifying any compounds present in the samples is but one piece of the puzzle and will not necessarily answer questions about causality".

The CDC has published its latest update on the vaping lung injury outbreak, revealing that the number of cases has increased to at least 530 people, the majority of whom are between the ages of 18 and 34.

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