Nebraska health officials investigating several cases of disease linked to vaping
Public health physician Ann Thomas says investigators don't yet know whether the illnesses are caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something such as the device itself.
Health officials said patients have been hospitalized following symptoms such as difficulty breathing and chest pain.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, an alert was sent to healthcare providers last month asking them to report suspected cases of serious pulmonary illness "where the cause is unclear with a history of vaping". "E-cigarettes contain many harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, and carry significant health risks".
Investigators are focusing on marijuana-derived THC in the Minnesota cases of teens and young adults who developed vaping-related lung illnesses this summer.
"At this time, there does not appear to be one product involved in all of the cases, although THC and cannabinoids use has been reported in many cases". "It's probably something new that has been introduced into the market by an illegal manufacturer, either a new flavor or a new way to emulsify THC that is causing these injuries". Numerous cases have reported vaping cannabis products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or CBD oils, although no single e-cigarette product or device has been consistently identified in all cases.
Nationwide, some 215 "possible cases" of vape-associated lung disease have been reported, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other potential cases are under investigation. "It is particularly important to ascertain what type of e-cigarettes or vaping devices were used and what specifically was being vaped", he added.
On Thursday, top health officials in the Trump administration reiterated warnings against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women, emphasizing the increasing potency of the drug. "But we still have very few regulations in place, even for commercially sold e-cigarette products".
Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not now use tobacco products.