Cases of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury continue to be reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to an update published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

According to the CDC, as of October 22, 2019, a total of 1604 cases of lung injury have been reported primarily in patients younger than 35 years old. Among these cases, 34 deaths were reported, mostly in older patients (median age 45 years). 

The use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products in the 3 months before symptom onset was reported in the majority of cases (86% of patients who survived and 84% of patients who died). However, the CDC noted that a specific compound or ingredient has yet to be identified as the causative agent in these cases. As such, the Agency continues to recommend that individuals abstain from e-cigarette use entirely, and particularly refrain from using products containing THC. 

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“Findings from this report, which is the largest analysis of [e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury] patients to date, suggest that this outbreak continues to primarily affect young persons, highlighting the need to communicate the dangers of e-cigarette, or vaping, use particularly among youths and young adults,” the CDC concluded.

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