On October 10, 2019, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,299 as the number of confirmed and probable lung injury cases linked to vaping in the US, and 29 as the total number of deaths.
The deaths traverse over a range of 21 different states, indicating that we are dealing with a widespread national issue.
While the exact diagnosis of the lung condition that leads to these fatalities is still ambiguous, vaping seems to be the underlying commonality between many of the recent patients with pulmonary illness listed in several recent reports from doctors, to the New York State Department of Health.
New York State officials recently confirmed the death of a 17-year-old Bronx boy, whose death marks the youngest vaping fatality in the United States.
While medical investigations are still being administered, officials suspect the boy was using black market e-cigarettes.
Vaping materials and tissue samples from patients with conditions similar to that of the boy are being analyzed and studied by federal and state health officials in order to get to the crux of this epidemic. There have been concerns raised about the presence of illicit THC products in circulation in these vape devices, which may contain an unknown mixture of toxins and chemicals that may be detrimental to the lungs.
Officials warn the public to avoid buying vape products from knock-off brands on the streets or the Internet, which seem to be common sources of dubious THC products.
In response to this escalating epidemic and teenage vaping, several states, including New York, have taken measures to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes that are allegedly being marketed towards minors.
Other states such as Massachusetts and Washington have taken similar measures in order to address this growing public health concern, and several more are expected to follow in their footsteps.