Vaping-Sickness Cases Rise to 530 as U.S. Searches for Cause
...Federal health officials said 530 people have fallen ill from the mysterious vaping-related lung ailment that has raised alarms across the U.S., up from 380 confirmed and probable cases that the government reported last week.
Seven people have died from the illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a briefing Thursday. Officials said they still hadn't determined a cause of the ailment, and that there didn't appear to be one product or substance involved in all instances. Cases have been identified in 38 states.
"We are leaving no stone unturned," said Mitchell Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who spoke at the briefing.
Parallel to the public health investigation, the FDA's enforcement arm has also opened a criminal probe focusing on the vaping industry's supply chain, Zeller said....
The initial hope was that vaping could help curtail tobacco use, which leads to the more than 480,000 deaths a year in the U.S. Tobacco-related illnesses are the leading cause of preventable death in the world. But an explosion in the use of vaping products by teenagers -- many of whom said that they had never smoked cigarettes -- has led the FDA to call teenage vaping an epidemic.
The use of e-cigarettes by 10th and 12th graders doubled in the past two years, according to data released this week by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. According to the survey, 1 in 4 high school seniors reported vaping nicotine in the month prior, and 1 in 5 sophomores reported the same....