Risks associated with vaping prompts statewide health advisory

A high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated last year from students at a school in Massachusetts

A high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated last year from students at a school in Massachusetts

"While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses", according to the CDC in an August 17 update, which also said there is no conclusive evidence that an infectious disease is causing the illnesses.

"They've ended up needing our intensive care unit and in some cases, assistance with their breathing". The New York State Department of Health said Friday it was "actively investigating" 11 cases.

Following public disclosure of the initial cases, reports of other similar unexpected severe lung injury in vapers continue to roll in. Health officials said patients have also reported fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea.

New Jersey joins six other states where more than 50 cases of lung disease have been reported and linked to electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices.

The CDC confirmed on Friday that it is helping investigate the matter in those five states and that cases are rolling in from many other states.

In an email Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged doctors to collect information and samples of what similar patients might have been vaping. Officials are investigating vape products as the reason for the illness. State health departments have also issued warnings. In recent years, health authorities have warned of an epidemic of vaping by underage teenagers.

No single vaping device or liquid is associated with the illnesses.

"We are seeing cases of teenagers and young adults with lung disease who reported recent vaping", she said.

Emily Chapman, chief medical officer at Children's Minnesota, said that even with appropriate treatment, which includes oxygen support and antibiotics, the health of some young adults deteriorated. Some suffered respiratory failure and had to be put on ventilators, she said.

It's possible illnesses previously weren't recognized as being related to vaping, Griffiths said. "It's new that we're recognizing it", she said.

"These cases are extremely complex to diagnose, as symptoms can mimic a common infection yet can lead to severe complications and extended hospitalisation", Chapman said.

The findings have baffled experts, since e-cigarettes have been available in the U.S. since 2006 and scientific research so far suggests they are probably a less toxic alternative to smoking.

E-cigarette use rose 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students from 2017 to 2018, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report in January found that while e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes, which produce a raft of toxic substances when burned, they still pose health risks. "And they all think it's safe", Barnes said.