US Vaping Illnesses Top 1,000; Death Count Is Up To 18

FILE - This Aug. 28, 2019 file photo shows counterfeit packaging for popular vape brands in a display case of a store in downtown Los Angeles. On Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,080 confirmed and probable cases have been reported in 48 states and one U.S. territory. The count includes 18 deaths in 15 states. (AP Photo/Michael R. Blood)

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The number of vaping-related illnesses has surpassed 1,000, and there’s no sign the outbreak is fading, U.S. health officials said Thursday.

Doctors say the illnesses, which first appeared in March, resemble an inhalation injury. Symptoms include severe, shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the marijuana ingredient that causes a high, but some said they vaped only nicotine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,080 confirmed and probable cases have been reported in 48 states and one U.S. territory as of Tuesday afternoon. The count includes 18 deaths in 15 states.

More than a third of patients are under age 21, but the deaths have been older adults who apparently had more difficulty recovering.

Recently, 275 cases have been added to the tally each week, and about half of the newest batch were people hospitalized in the last two weeks.

“Unfortunately, the outbreak … is continuing at a brisk pace” and there’s no sign of it slowing, the CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat said in a Thursday call with reporters.

The Food and Drug Administration is analyzing products from 18 states, but neither that agency nor the CDC has pinpointed an electronic cigarette, vaping device, liquid or ingredient as the root cause.

The investigation has increasingly focused on THC vaping products. But until a cause is found, the CDC continues to advise Americans to refrain from using any vaping products.

Complicating the investigation are apparently conflicting medical reports about what’s been seen in the lungs of different patients. Some doctors suggested patients’ lungs are being clogged and inflamed by oils from vaping liquids, but a report published this week by the New England Journal of Medicine pointed to the kind of chemical burns that might come from poisonous gases.

“There may be a lot of different nasty things in e-cigarette or vaping products, and they may cause different harms in the lung,” Schuchat said. “We hope over the months ahead that we’ll learn more about the spectrum of lung conditions that these exposures are having.”

Only Alaska and New Hampshire have not reported any illnesses.



  1. Misleading AP article. This has nothing to do with normal e-cigarettes.

    87% of patients admitted to vaping THC, and most of those who initially denied using THC were found to have used THC upon further investigation.

    “E-cigarette Product Use, or Vaping, Among Persons with Associated Lung Injury—Illinois and Wisconsin, April–September 2019.” US Center for Disease Control. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 68 (2019).

  2. The calls to ban vapes grow while meanwhile, 480,000 people die in a single year just in the US alone. This staggering number pales in comparison to the 8 MILLION people who die from smoking annually and the 1.2 million who die from secondhand smoke, a phenomenon not caused by vapes. So far the POSSIBLE death count for vaping related has risen to the unimpressive quota of 18. So this raises the question of why are we trying with all of our power to ban these vapes if their supposed use is to wean people off of cigarettes (which are far more dangerous than vapes). Although the point has been raised that we KNOW what causes lung cancer and diseases so, therefore, we can stop or prevent the proliferation of these harmful chemicals. By vapes, we are almost entirely unsure, due to conflicting studies and misleading information, of what is causing these conditions. This argument can be defended against by stating that although there is a possibility of there being dangerous chemicals existing in vapes, still, cigarettes can be classified as more dangerous and inimical than vapes.

  3. If anyone wants more information on the damaging effects of cigarettes &