As of October 22, 2019, 1,604 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and one U.S. territory.
Thirty-four vaping deaths have been confirmed in 24 states: Alabama, California (3), Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (2), Illinois (2), Indiana (3), Kansas (2), Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (3), Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. More deaths are under investigation. The median age of deceased patients was 49 years and ranged from 17 to 75 years.
Among 1,358 patients with data on age and sex (as of October 15, 2019), 70% of patients are male; the median age of patients is 23 years and ages range from 13 to 75 years; and, 79% of patients are under 35 years old. By age group category: 15% of patients are under 18 years old; 21% of patients are 18 to 20 years old; 18% of patients are 21 to 24 years old; 25% of patients are 25 to 34 years old; and 21% of patients are 35 years or older.
Among 849 patients with information on substances used in vaping products in the three months prior to symptom onset (as of October 15, 2019): about 78% reported using THC-containing products and 31% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products. About 58% reported using nicotine-containing products and 10% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
At this time, the FDA and the CDC have not identified the cause or causes of the lung injuries in these cases and the only commonality among all cases is that patients report the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. No one compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak. Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation. The specific chemical exposure(s) causing lung injuries associated with e-cigarette product use remains unknown at this time.
The CDC warns that the e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including: nicotine; ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds; cancer-causing chemicals; and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. It is difficult for consumers to know what e-cigarette products contain. For example, some e-cigarettes marketed as containing zero percent nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.
Other safety issues include defective e-cigarette batteries that have caused fires and explosions, some of which have resulted in serious injuries. Most explosions happened when the e-cigarette batteries were being charged. Also, acute nicotine exposure can be toxic.
In addition, children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes.
If you or a loved one may have been injured (or worse) as a result of vaping in the United States, you should promptly find a vaping injury lawyer in your state who may investigate your vaping injury for you and represent you or your loved one in a vaping injury (or vaping death) case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find vaping claim attorneys in your U.S. state who may assist you.
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