Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there has been a breakthrough in the investigation into the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries that has led to the deaths of 39 people and sickened more than 2,000 others.
Investigators announced Friday that they have detected a chemical compound called vitamin E acetate in all the samples of lung fluid collected from 29 patients who were hospitalized after vaping, suggesting a possible culprit for the spate of lung injuries that has swept across the U.S.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in San Diego said it's cracking down on marijuana vaping products, products federal agents now refer to as a "public health crisis."
The DEA, along with a coalition of local officials, denounced marijuana vaping products in a press conference held Friday morning.
"It's a public health crisis," said Colin Ruane, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DEA San Diego Division. "We're trying to get on top of it."
What You Need to Know
There have been few, if any, long-term studies of the health effects of vaping. Regardless of what the final determination is on the cause of these recent cases, vaping has been known to cause adverse health effects for some time. Because of the lack of standardized testing of these products, many consumers and parents are left unaware of potential risks.
Vaping is now popular among youth for consumption of flavored nicotine, THC and CBD. In fact, much of the vape marketing is specifically targeted to teens. Recent reports show that as much as 15% of the total vaping market is people under the age of 18.
Parents and students packed the Vista Community Center Wednesday night to listen to a panel of experts discuss vaping and marijuana use among middle and high school students.
Answers to your most common questions about the outbreak
A mysterious vaping-related illness that has sickened more than 1,000 people and claimed 18 lives has prompted health officials nationwide to advise the public to immediately stop using the electronic cigarettes. Alarmed local, state and national officials are considering strict regulations or outright bans on the devices. The swift backlash has left questions about the safety of vaping. We attempt to answer some of the most common questions about this new technology that has so rapidly become a worldwide cultural phenomenon:
Q: What is vaping?
A: Vaping is the inhalation and exhalation of water vapor mixed with other substances such as nicotine or marijuana oil.