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Death toll from vaping lung disease hits 13 as hundreds hospitalized in outbreak



Four more people have died of a lung disease linked to vaping, bringing the death toll in the US to 13.

Health officials in Georgia reported the first death in the state linked to a vaping-related illness on Wednesday.

The person had a history of heavy nicotine vaping, but hadn't used other substances such as THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to the state's health department.

Later that day, Florida reported it's first vaping-related death.

Yesterday, a death in Mississippi and a second in Oregon were reported.

More 800 cases of the lung disease have been reported

The deaths come amid a multi-state outbreak of lung injury associated with vaping, according to the US Centers for Disease Contron and Prevention.

Nine other deaths have been identified as part of this outbreak, two in California, two in Kansas, another in Oregon and one each in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Missouri.

As of Tuesday, 805 confirmed and probable cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping, were reported by 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands – up 52 per cent from the 530 reported a week ago.

Over the summer, health officials in a few states began noticing reports of people developing severe breathing illness, with the lungs apparently reacting to a caustic substance, CBS reports.

Most patients have said they vaped products containing THC, but some patients have said they vaped only nicotine.

Health officials are advising people not to use any vaping product until the cause is better understood.

Of the lung injury cases, nearly three quarters are male, and two thirds of patients are between 18 and 34.

The deaths come amid a US outbreak

"People should stop vaping immediately," said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer for the state of Oregon, in a statement.

"If you vape, whether it's cannabis, nicotine or other products, please quit. These are addictive substances, and we encourage people to take advantage of free resources to help them quit."

"People should stop vaping immediately," said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer for the state of Oregon, in a statement.

"If you vape, whether it's cannabis, nicotine or other products, please quit. These are addictive substances, and we encourage people to take advantage of free resources to help them quit."

Doctors say people who vape and develop breathing problems should seek medical care.

In the UK, Public Health England (PHE) stands by its claim that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.

It has come under fire from some academics who say the organization is wilfully ignoring mounting evidence that vaping is harmful.

Thirteen deaths related to the lung disease have been reported by health officials

Martin Dockrell, tobacco control lead at PHE, said: "A full investigation is not yet available but indications are that the US cases have been linked to people using illicit vaping fluid bought on the streets or home-made, some containing cannabis products like THC oil or synthetic cannabinoids like spice, and others Vitamin E acetate oil.

"This is not the same as using UK regulated nicotine products. Unlike the US, all nicotine-containing e-cigarette products in the UK are tightly regulated for quality and safety by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and they operate the Yellow Card Scheme , encouraging vapers to report any adverse effects.

"Public Health England's advice remains that vaping carries a small fraction of the risk of smoking."

Meanwhile, more people are vaping than ever before, with a 12.5% ​​growth in one year, research suggests.

An estimated 3.6 million people in the UK are currently vaping (7.1% of the population), up from 3.2 million the year before (6.2% of the population), a large survey of adults showed.

This is up from an estimated 1.3 million (2.7% of people) in 2003.

In the UK, health authorities say vaping is healthier than smoking

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The peak age range for current e-cigarette use is 35 to 44-year-olds (9.5%) followed by 45 to 54-year-olds (9.3%), and then 25 to 34-year-olds (7.8%).

The lowest vaping rate stands at 4.3% for young adults aged 18 to 24, followed by those over 55 at 5.6%.

Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction at King's College London, and lead author of the independent evidence reviews of e-cigarettes for Public Health England (PHE), said: "Vaping isn't risk free, but it's much less risky than smoking, which kills nearly 100,000 people a year in the UK. "


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