NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. health officials are again urging people to stop vaping until they figure out why some are coming down with serious breathing illnesses.
Officials on Friday said they had identified 450 possible illnesses, including at least three deaths, in 33 states. The count includes a newly reported death in Indiana.
“The tragic loss of a Hoosier and rising number of vaping-related injuries are warnings that we cannot ignore,” State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., said in a statement.
Health officials say no single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses. Many of the sickened – but not all – were people who had been vaping THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its high.
A week ago, U.S. officials pegged the number at 215 possible cases in 25 states. Health officials have only been counting certain lung illnesses in which the person had vaped within three months. Most are teens.
“We know that these products typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and many cases report inhaling THC and other substances not available in commercial products. While it is unclear what substances are causing injury, when you use these products with other chemicals, you may not know everything that you’re inhaling and the harm it can cause,” Dr. Box continued.