Non-smokers advised to avoid e-cigarettes amid national lung disease outbreak

BY-SA 2.0

BY-SA 2.0

A person in OR has died after vaping in what appears to be the second such death nationwide.

Nebraska health officials are investigating several cases of severe pulmonary disease linked to smoking e-cigarettes or vaping.

The individual in OR, who died in July, had recently vaped products containing cannabis purchased at a dispensary, according to the announcement. The agency declined to release information about the person's gender, age or location. "Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not now use tobacco products".

The emergence of symptoms in patients with severe lung damage hasn't always followed a consistent pattern.

What's surprising, Thomas said, is how rapidly people who have smoked e-cigarettes recently have become sick.

"We don't yet know the exact cause of these illnesses - whether they're caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself", Ann Thomas, MD, public health physician at OHA's Public Health Division, says in a statement.

"The order from (Gov. Gretchen) Whitmer comes after the Michigan Department of Health recorded six respiratory illnesses linked to vaping over two months".

Thomas said that women who are pregnant, young people and those who don't already vape should not pick up the habit. As a parent, she said she's heard of students vaping not only in high school bathrooms but in their classrooms.

A news release issued Tuesday afternoon indicates patients are experiencing symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

"The products we sell are regulated by the FDA", said Burch. "A recent report by the agency details the health risks for the products including nicotine addiction, exposure to toxic chemicals known to cause cancer and increases in blood pressure". The products have been used in the US for more than a decade and are generally considered safer than traditional cigarettes because they don't create all the cancer-causing byproducts of burning tobacco.

"There are still toxins", Thomas said.

MI on Wednesday became the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes and vape products.

The CDC also said people should not buy vaping products off the street or ones that have been modified. Lawmakers have also introduced bills seeking to make it harder for young people to obtain these products, sale of which is banned to minors.

"It's kind of scary and it's hard to believe that any vaping is really safe at this point", said Thomas, the OR doctor.

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