It’s Time National Regulatory Agencies Get Up To Speed

Across the country, previously healthy, largely young people are finding themselves afflicted with a serious lung illness.

No one knows which chemical, or combination of chemicals, is responsible for this mystery illness. The only link between them is the use of vaping devices or e-cigarettes.

So far, there have been more than 450 cases nationally of possible lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products. Those 450 cases come from 33 states and one U.S. territory with five people’s deaths attributed to the lung illness.

The Centers for Disease Control are working to create a case definition to classify cases consistently. Because infectious diseases have not been found, lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure.

CDC officials suggest people consider not using e-cigarettes, a stance with which Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Dr. Howard Zucker, state health commissioner, agree.

“New York state is going to issue health guidance either today or tomorrow that says people should not be using vaping products period, which is basically what the CDC is saying,” Cuomo said. “There have been a number of deaths. There is an investigation ongoing. Nobody knows exactly what it is. There is some suggestion that is linked to Vitamin E, et cetera. Our health guidance is no one should be using vaping products period until we know what it is.”

Those who can stop vaping should, at least until the cause of this outbreak is found. Those who still feel they must vape should use reputable products from authorized dealers, and it would likely be best not to modify the products.

This mystery illness shows just how much we don’t know about vaping. It’s time our state and national regulatory agencies, and the public at large, get up to speed.

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