A total of 21 serious vaping-related illnesses are now under investigation in Los Angeles County, along with one death, authorities said Thursday. "I think it's premature for us to rule out other concerning products".
As of October 1, 1,080 people who have a history of vaping have been diagnosed with some type of serious lung injury, such as severe breathing problems or lung damage.
Of those found to have the lung injury, which can cause severe shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain, 70% were male and 80% were under 35-years-old.
The outbreak of USA vaping-related illnesses has surpassed 1,000 cases, including 18 deaths nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). E-cigarettes should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women or people who have not previously used tobacco products, according to CDC. The average age of those who died is almost 50, with the youngest person who died in their 20s and the oldest in their 70s.
Among a group of 578 patients interviewed on substances they had used, 78 percent reported using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with or without nicotine products; 37 percent reported exclusive use of THC products, and 17 percent said they had only used nicotine-containing products.
So far, officials have not identified a particular electronic cigarette, vaping device, liquid or ingredient behind the outbreak.
People who switched to vaping to cut down on smoking cigarettes should not go back to cigarettes, Canadian and US health officials said. Two-thirds said they had used the same brand. Cases have been reported in 48 states and the US Virgin Islands.
India has issued an outright ban on all e-cigarette products, as has the USA state of MA.
"Unfortunately, the outbreak of pulmonary injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, is continuing at a brisk pace", said CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat in a press call Thursday.
"I can not stress enough the seriousness of these injuries".
"We know there's a lot of conversation out there about what is and isn't safe and personally with all the data that I've been seeing I don't know what "safe" is right now", she said.
Most of the recommendations, including banning the sales of flavored e-cigarettes, will require legislation, he said. As the investigation continues, they said those percentages might change.
"But I try to get them to set a quit date with the e-cigarettes as well", she said.