As of Tuesday, there were 1,888 lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette products in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s an increase from last week, when there were 1,604 cases of vaping-related lung injuries. The CDC on Thursday also identified 37 deaths in 24 states: three each from California, Georgia, Indiana and Minnesota; two each from Illinois, Kansas, Oregon and Tennessee; and one each from Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia. The District of Columbia Department of Health has also reported one death.
But while experts have long warned of a youth vaping epidemic, 86% of patients suffering vaping-related lung disease reported using THC-containing products, according to the CDC data released Thursday. Just 11% of those injured reported exclusively using nicotine, which has been targeted by most state restrictions. In light of that data, the CDC is specifically warning people to avoid any vape products containing THC or bought off the street. Still, the agency says, “the only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.”