Robert R. Redfield, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: "CDC is committed to finding out what is causing this outbreak of lung injury and death among individuals using vaping products".
The injury was consistent with the more than 1,000 cases of vaping-related injuries associated with e-cigarettes that have been reported across the nation in recent months.
More information is needed to know whether a single product, substance, or brand is responsible for the lung injuries.
Vaping and electronic cigarettes gained in popularity over the last decade as an alternative to smoking tobacco products.
E-cigarettes have been available in the U.S. since 2006. Officials said caution is especially advised regarding the use of off-market THC-containing (the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high) products purchasedthrough the internet, from people on the street. The estimated national average for high school youth is 13 percent.
E-cigarettes and vaping products are unregulated.
The issue at hand, as stated in the report, is that vaping products have not been approved by the FDA and users who add THC oil to vaping pens or buy them from unauthorized sellers are putting their health at risk.
Do not use e-cigarettes or vaping devices of any kind. Selling these products to anyone under the age of 21 is illegal in Hawai'i. "The state is placing a high priority on investigating lung illnesses related to vaping and our Department of Health will immediately ban any products that are identified as the source of a vaping related outbreak". It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, use, and possess these products.
Public and political opinion appears to be hardening, however, with US Government announcing in September it would ban flavoured e-cigarette products - which are particularly attractive to young people - in the coming months.
Though the investigation is ongoing and the cause remains unknown at this time.
DPH issued a clinical advisory on September 11 asking providers to report any case of a person experiencing otherwise unexplained progressive symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, or weight loss, of any severity, and an abnormal chest imaging study associated with vaping.