Vaping has been linked to 2,172 cases of lung injury and 42 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new figures represent an increase of 121 injuries and three deaths from the previous week.
The CDC recently announced it found a link between the lung injuries and vitamin E acetate. The substance was detected in all 29 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples collected from people with vaping-related lung injuries in 10 states, according to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“While it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury), evidence is not yet sufficient to rule out contribution of other chemicals of concern to EVALI,” the CDC said on its website. “Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation, and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak.”
Cases have been reported in every state except Alaska. About 70% of patients have been male and the median age is 24, according to a CDC analysis in mid-October. The median age of those who have died is 52.
About 86% of patients had used a product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and 64% used a product containing nicotine as of mid-October. Just over half used both.
Patients have complained of difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and/or chest pain. Some also experienced diarrhea, vomiting, fever and fatigue.
The CDC encourages clinicians to consider vaping-related illnesses in patients with lung disease, collect detailed information on the products patients were using and report suspected cases to their state health department. Detailed guidance from the CDC is available at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6841e3.htm?s_cid=mm6841e3_w.
The CDC has created a case form to assist with reporting probable or confirmed cases and also developed guidance for coding these encounters.
For information about the collection of e-cigarette products for possible testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), email FDAVapingSampleInquiries@fda.hhs.gov.
The CDC also encourages the public to report any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA’s online Safety Reporting Portal, http://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.