Politico: Feds Say to stop vaping — especially cannabis — as lung disease deaths rise to 5

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This story in via Politico:

Federal officials on Friday advised people to stop using e-cigarettes, in particular those containing the marijuana component THC, until scientists gain better understanding of the epidemic of serious vaping-related lung disease that has sickened as many as 450 people and killed five people across 33 states.

The latest deaths were reported Friday by health departments in Indiana, California and Minnesota, following deaths in Illinois and Oregon. Officials say a large number of cases involve marijuana products, but caution against drawing any conclusions and say there may be multiple causes.

No device, product or substance has been linked to all cases, Dana Meaney-Delman, who heads the CDC’s response to the epidemic, told reporters on an afternoon call. “While this investigation is ongoing people should consider not using e-cigarette products,” she said, adding that people should avoid buying products off the streets or modifying them in any way.

Late Friday, the FDA said it had tested enough samples containing THC to issue a recommendation that vaping product users avoid any product containing the chemical, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana.

Most of the samples contain large amounts of vitamin E. While the FDA isn’t sure that vitamin E is a cause of the lung injury, “the agency believes it is prudent to avoid inhaling this substance” while federal investigations continue.

And because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products contain vitamin E, it urged them to not buy any products that contain THC. At least one of the five deaths involved a man who had used illegal THC products, the agency’s news release said.

The agencies say they have confirmed 215 vaping-related lung disease cases and are investigating another 235 that may be related to vaping. Public health experts have been urging the government to tell consumers to stop vaping any product until scientists can clarify the cause or causes of the outbreak.

Read full story in Politico.

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