Missouri confirms 2 vaping illnesses, studying 7 other cases

The US government is planning to ban flavored e-cigarettes amid outbreak of vaping-related deaths

USA health officials on Thursday cut the number of lung illnesses linked to e-cigarettes and vaping products under investigation to 380 as states began assessing patients based on a narrower case definition issued late last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Six people have died from vaping-related illness, a number that remains unchanged, the CDC said. The CDC listed these states as California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon.

The patients' initial symptoms included breathing difficulty and chest pain before some were hospitalized and placed on ventilators.

While an investigation is ongoing, the CDC reminds people that there is a lot of lacking information on what substances are causing these cases and which products are most risky. Many officials say, however, that many cases appear to involve the vape product THC, a compound found in marijuana. Some patients also reported using nicotine vapes.

Vaping, which has been trendy among young adults and middle age people trying to ween off cigarettes, has been at the forefront of growing health concerns.

Since no single device or product, additive or substance has been identified in all cases, the CDC is recommending that Americans avoid vaping.

Several teens were placed in medically-induced comas, including one who may need a lung transplant if he recovers, according to his doctors.

"The broad recommendation is because we do have a diversity of products...some containing THC and some containing nicotine", she said.

New York's health department is focusing its probe on counterfeit cannabis cartridges containing vitamin E oil, which is harmful when inhaled.

In response to the outbreak, President Donald Trump and the US Food and Drug Administration announced on Wednesday a ban on flavored vaping products - aside from tobacco - from store shelves. All of the patients, though, were diagnosed with a form of pneumonia that occurs when oils or fat molecules enter the lungs.

Incidents of lung-disease and death around the country has 33 states urgently seeking answers.

The CDC said it will no longer report possible cases or cases under investigation.

"While the CDC investigation of the possible cases of lung illness and deaths reportedly associated with the use of e-cigarette products is ongoing, service members and their families or dependents are encouraged not to use e-cigarette products", said Dr. Terry Adirim, deputy assistant secretary of defense, Health Services Policy and Oversight.

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