Mysterious 'Vaping Illness' Claims 12th Victim; Cases Reported In 46 States

In its latest update on the spread of the mysterious 'vaping illness', the CDC revealed on Thursday that two more people have died, bringing the death toll to 12 people across 10 states, while the total number of cases has climbed to 805 reported across 46 states and 1 US territory. Two-thirds of the cases have afflicted people between the ages of 18-34. Roughly 16% of patients are minors.

Cases of  the  vaping illness have been reported in 46 states and one US territory.

 

While most patients report using black-market vaping products infused with marijuana and various filler substances, one of the patients who died in Georgia yesterday (the first to die from the illness in that state) claimed that they only engaged in "heavy nicotine vaping."

More than 100 officials from the CDC are scrambling to trace the cause of the mystery illness. In the mean time, it has warned the public to avoid e-cigarettes and vapes, particularly products bought on the black market. If anything, the illness is spreading more quickly, with 100s of new cases declared over the past week alone, according to the agency’s principal deputy director Dr. Anne Schuchat,  who testified about the vaping illness before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday.

Dr. Schuchat said the CDC is seeing "more and more cases" and warned "identification of the cause or causes for the outbreak may take substantial time and continuing effort."

The vaping illness has been compared to 'fast-acting pneumonia', as patients report respiratory problems including shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain and sometimes vomiting, fatigue and fevers. As the illness advances, patients' lungs begin to fill with fluid, cutting off their ability to breath. Some have been placed on respirator machines, which oxygenate the blood for the patient.

The vaping illness has been a PR disaster for the nascent vape industry. President Trump and the FDA have promised to ban flavored vaping products, and two states already have instated at least temporary bans. Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns left the company on Wednesday  as public scrutiny of the firm intensified. He was replaced by a longtime Altria executive (Altria owns a stake in Juul). Last week, Wal-Mart said it would stop selling all vape products.

Though vaping use has exploded over the past few years, cigarette smokers still greatly outnumber vapers.

Infographic: 13% of U.S. Smokers Use E-Cigarettes | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Also, a recent poll of teenagers in Great Britain found that very few teenagers think  vaping - the act of which has been compared to puffing on a hard drive - looks cool.

Infographic: Vaping: intriguing but definitely not cool | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Public opinion has turned against vaping, as a new poll showed that a majority of Americans don't believe smoking cigarettes is more harmful than vaping.