Kansas — CNN reported that a sixth person has now died from a vaping related illness. The woman was a resident of Kansas and in her 50s. Health officials in Kansas said that she was hospitalized for a short length of time as her symptoms rapidly progressed. The first death health officials attributed to vaping was in Illinois. The next person who died lived in Oregon. Subsequent deaths caused by vaping occurred in Minnesota, Indiana, and California, respectively. Federal healthcare investigators have not narrowed the deaths to one cause or ingredient. Each person who died had different vaping habits and used different products. The only thing they had in common was vaping.
Doctors continue to interview people who have fallen ill from vaping. Some people who have suffered respiratory diseases linked to vaping have used THC-based products, but not all. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana. New York State health regulators began studying cannabis-based vaping products. To date, the New York researchers have found vitamin E acetate in some of the products. Consequently, health department researchers are focusing on vitamin E acetate as the possible cause of the outbreak after finding high levels of the chemical in candy-flavored vaping products. Vitamin E acetate oil is used as a thickener for the flavored vaping product.
Public health officials and advocacy groups broadcast the dangers of e-cigarette use loudly. They say that people must stop vaping immediately because the health risks are too great to chance with continued use. Additionally, advocates are looking to the FDA to step up its efforts to increase regulation of e-cigarette products and ban any unregulated items.
The FDA, for its part, has swung its full attention toward convincing teens to stop vaping or never start it in the first place. The agency initiated an educational platform designed to target teens. Also, the president expressed his concern about the vaping health crisis and promised to ban all flavored e-cigarette products.
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