SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Centers for Disease Control reports 530 people have experienced lung injuries associated with e-cigarette or vaping products.
There have also been seven deaths.
So far 38 states have been impacted, including California which has seen 81 cases and two deaths.
One of the key concerns is the age of those getting ill.
San Francisco County health officer Dr. Tomas Aragon says the median age of those getting sick is 19.
“Their respiratory failure is so severe, they need intubation, so its causing severe lung inflammation and we don’t know what the long terms effect of that will be for the rest of their lives,” he said.
The CDC reports no single vaping product or ingredient has been linked to the illnesses, though most patients report using THC, the substance within cannabis, or both THC and nicotine.
But health experts question the safety of the vaping with or without THC
“Even when it doesn’t have THC or nicotine, the ultra fine particles that go into your lungs are not good for you either and that’s causing changes in the way the lining of the lung are reacting,” Aragon said.
In addition to the Centers for Disease Control, the FDA’s office of criminal investigation has launched a parallel inquiry to see what is causing people to get sick and what the supply chain is.