E-cigarette dangers: Houston teens hospitalized, Feds urge caution

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The topic of E-cigarette dangers has been a focus for health officials recently.  Within the past month, three Houston teens have been hospitalized with serious lung illnesses following use of e-cigarettes, the Houston Health Department confirms.

CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and local health officials are investigating but have not yet identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Many patients report using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain THC, but others have reported only vaping nicotine.

Federal authorities have urged people not to use e-cigarettes while the investigation is underway. Those who do use the devices should not buy the products on the street or on the internet.

The hospitalizations all occurred within the past month and fit the profile of a multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarette products.

“This is a very serious outbreak and I urge all parents to check with their children to make sure they are not using e-cigarette products. Adults should also stop using the products,” said Dr. David Persse, local health authority for the Houston Health Department and EMS medical director. “These illnesses are life-threatening, even for healthy young people who may not regularly use these products.

California launched a $20 million campaign in September to raise awareness of vaping and E-cigarette dangers. The same day the campaign was launched a 40-year-old died from complications related to using e-cigarettes.

Some politicians in congress are looking to tax the vaping industry and ban flavored e-cigarettes to reduce teen vaping.

E-cigarettes are also known as e-cigs, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). They often look like regular cigarettes, but some  can look like out of the ordinary things like a USB flash drive or a pen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 450 suspected cases nationally.

 

 

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