In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised American consumers of all ages to avoid e-cigarettes while awaiting the results of ongoing federal and state efforts to investigate a nationwide epidemic of severe lung injuries associated with the use of vaping products, also known as e-cigarettes.
Federal and state health agencies have reported thousands of cases and dozens of deaths related to a newly-identified lung disease known as EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury). Symptoms in patients affected by the disease include chest pain, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, and weight loss.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state health officials have analyzed samples of vaping products used by patients treated for EVALI. According to the FDA, most of these products have contained THC, the main chemical ingredient in marijuana.
Initial findings indicate that vitamin E acetate, an ingredient sometimes added to THC products, is associated with these vaping-related illnesses, although health officials stressed that their findings are inconclusive, and there may be other ingredients causing lung damage. Since no single cause has yet been identified by the CDC, it cautions consumers to refrain from altogether using vaping products.
Dana Meaney-Delman, MD, who is in charge of the CDC’s response to the outbreak, said, “E-cigarette use is never safe for youth, young adults, or pregnant women.” The CDC also cautions against using any vaping products that contain THC. The CDC warns that adults who use e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking should “weigh all risks and benefits and consider using FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies.”
One hundred fifteen years ago, James Powell, Sr.
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