City of Milwaukee urges residents to stop vaping 'immediately'

W.Va. health department weighs in on vaping hazards

News that almost 200 cases of severe lung disease in the USA might be linked to vaping has health officials in Ottawa and across the country on alert. "Now we're seeing, as we had predicted, that there will be health consequences that will be discovered as these devices become used more frequently".

Boston University School of Public Health researcher and professor of community health sciences Michael Siegel trained in epidemiology for two years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta before coming to Boston.

Out of 18 possible cases officials in Indiana are investigating, seven have been confirmed, said Indiana State Department of Health spokesperson Megan Wade-Taxter.

The Milwaukee Health Department is issuing a stern warning against vaping.

"While all forms of tobacco use cause disease and death, recently a new danger has been linked to "vaping" or "dabbing" (vaping marijuana oils, extracts or concentrates)". They report in some cases, older adult age groups have been affected.

Symptoms of chemical pneumonia include coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, chest pain, nausea and diarrhea. There does not appear to be an infectious cause of the illnesses. Some patients have gone on to develop severe respiratory distress, requiring treatment in an ICU and placement on a ventilator, says Rutherfoord Rose, director of the Virginia Poison Center at VCU Medical Center.

Wisconsin health officials said they're still interviewing new patients as part of the investigation.

Last September, the federal Food and Drug Administration said e-cigarette use among teens is an epidemic.

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Juul, a leading e-cigarette company, stopped distributing mango, fruit, creme and cucumber flavored products to traditional retail stores in November.

"The only thing at this point is vaping, but we don't know what they vaped, where they got their vaping liquids", Haupt said.

"Those kinds of facts need to be strung together for every single one of these cases, so that we can see if any other kinds of patterns have emerged", Zeller said.

The liquids in e-cigarettes do, however, contain nicotine, which has been studied for decades, and is known to be a highly addictive carcinogen.

Health Canada says it has no evidence of any similar illnesses related to vaping, but it is monitoring the situation carefully. This summer, from June 28 to Aug 15, ninety-four likely cases were registered across in 14 states, like Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, and California.

E-cigarette users are not exposed to the estimated 7,000 chemicals, about 10% of which are carcinogens, contained in tobacco cigarettes. Government experts have not had the option to pinpoint the reason for the cases, which all have comparable manifestations and give off an impression of being connected to e-cigarettes however not a particular item or compound.

Earlier this month, the FDA said it received 127 reports of e-cigarette users having seizures or other neurological symptoms.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are monitoring the USA situation and working with US officials but have not seen any evidence of similar pulmonary illness clusters in Canada related to e-cigarettes.

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