A lung disease among users of vapes is spreading at a rapid pace in the US. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning against the use of vaping products, while the cause is being looked into.
CDC revealed that at least 450 people have been affected by the disease and five have died. The first vaping-based death was reported in August this year. The fact that the number is shooting up, is not indicative of an epidemic, but a collation of results, which upon comparison threw up the information.
Robert R. Redfield, MD, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stated on a post on the official website, "We are committed to finding out what is making people sick. All available information is being carefully analysed, and these initial findings are helping us narrow the focus of our investigation and get us closer to the answers needed to save lives."
Currently, no definitive cause of the disease has been found – no specific brand of e-cigarettes/vapes, no specific device or substance has been found.
The capsules used in vapes contain a variety of chemicals, which means that finding what among them is causing the disease will be tough. CDC has stated that a chemical exposure is expected to be the cause, based on clinical and laboratory evidence.
The doctors have classified the disease as "lipoid pneumonia." All the patients had abnormal X-rays and needed a lot of oxygen.
A suspect may be the Vitamin E Acetate, which is formed during the vaporisation process. Another noteworthy aspect is that nicotine products are not expected to be the cause – most cases are those of people using THC (marijuana-based compound) alone or with nicotine.
The CDC is working with many US state authorities and the Federal Drug Administration to find a solution to the issue. While the cause is found, it is advisable to stay away from vapes and vaping-based products.