Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

CDC Says 1,500 Illnesses From Vaping, 33 Deaths

Health + Wellness

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.


Those numbers, which come from 49 states (not Alaska) plus DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands, represent nearly 200 more cases and 7 more deaths than last week when the number of report vaping-related illnesses tallied 1,299 and 26 fatalities, as CNN reported.


"This is extremely complicated and difficult. It's fatal or potentially fatal with half of the cases requiring intensive care," said CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat to House lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday, as CNBC reported.

The CDC has warned in the past that almost all patients who get sick end up hospitalized, and the overwhelming number are young people. In cases where the CDC had age and gender data, 79 percent were under 35, with the median age of 23, as CNBC reported. The youngest was 13.

The CDC was able to identify the products used in 849 of the 1,479 confirmed EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury) cases, according to Fox News. From that sample, 78 percent reported using some sort of marijuana product containing THC within the three months prior to developing symptoms.

While the CDC confirmed that there are 33 vaping-related deaths, it said it is investigating other deaths to see if EVALI was the cause. The patients who died range in age from 17 to 75, as CNN reported.

Last month, New York State pinpointed vitamin E in marijuana vaping products as a possible culprit causing lung irritation, as EcoWatch reported. The CDC, however, has not adopted that stance, insisting that it still does not know the cause. "No one compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak," the CDC's update reads.

In the meantime, the CDC recommends that smokers avoid THC-related products, not buy any vape material illegally, and not alter a legal product in any way. It also emphasized that smokers "consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette and vaping products," and recommended that "there is no safe tobacco product. All tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, carry a risk."

The CDC warned that the impending flu season could exacerbate symptoms. The CDC said patients who develop EVALI might increase their risk of developing severe flu complications or other respiratory illnesses circulating during the winter, as CNBC reported.

"It's going to be a very challenging winter," Schuchat said at the House hearing.

Anticipating a ban on its product due to the young age of most EVALI patients, e-cigarette giant Juul announced that it will immediately suspend all sales of it popular fruity e-cigarette flavors—crème, mango, fruit, cucumber—that are often blamed for appealing to and addicting teenage customers to its products, as CNBC reported. However, the company will continue to sell its mint and menthol flavors on its website.

Juul's sales have soared over the past few years alongside a spike of middle school and high school students who report using e-cigarettes.

"We must reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers," said Juul CEO KC Crosthwaite said in a statement, according to CNBC.

The move did not pass muster with the company's critics though.

"Juul's announcement today that it is leaving mint and menthol flavors on the market shows that it hasn't changed one bit under its new leadership and isn't serious about preventing youth use," said Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in a statement, as CNBC reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less