New Jersey reports first vaping-related death

Health officials said their investigation into severe vaping-related illnesses is increasingly focused on products that contain THC

"The information we're gathering about cases in MA will further our understanding of vaping-associated lung injury, as well as assist our federal partners". As of last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had listed 805 confirmed and probable cases of lung injuries associated with vaping. Cases have been reported in 48 states and the US Virgin Islands.

The report details the first national comprehensive data on the characteristics of the cases, including sex, age, and select substances used in e-cigarettes or vaping products. Hundreds of cases across the nation might have been missed in the preliminary report. The CDC states that "no consistent evidence of an infectious cause has been discovered", and as a result it is believed a "chemical exposure" is responsible for the lung injuries.

Symptoms associated with vaping injuries have included cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, worsening to fever chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

CDC reported Friday that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may play a major role in the outbreak of lung injuries linked to e-cigarettes and vaping. There are now 805 possible cases overall.

State officials are hoping to learn more about what's potentially causing the illnesses after Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency on September 24 amid the growing number of cases in states across the country.

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No major e-cigarette company has been directly tied to the ailments, and federal investigators say most people affected by the lung problems report that they had vaped THC, the ingredient in marijuana that produces a high.

Virginia and New Jersey health officials on Tuesday announced they had each confirmed a vaping-related death. E-cigarettes should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women or people who have not previously used tobacco products, according to CDC.

The need for special handling of biopsies was raised during a call between federal health officials and state officials and clinicians in late August, Davidson said. Fifty-seven percent reported using nicotine-containing products within the same window, although only 16 percent reported using only nicotine-containing products. Ten of the patients reported using products with THC alone or in combination with nicotine e-cigarette products.

One theory is that contaminated THC oil is coming from the illicit market that is manufacturing THC vape cartridges, she said. How far the legislation of banning the vaping products will go is unknown as of this point, but is being worked on.

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