As of November 5, there have 2,051 EVALI cases reported to the CDC across 49 USA states, along with 39 deaths. The deaths were reported in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
Vaping has been around for more than a decade, with tens of millions of users already - and nothing of this sort has ever been reported previously.
The latest studies come just a week after British health bosses said they are "as certain as ever" that vaping is less harmful than smoking. The data are pointing to illicit supply chains", but, she added, "I don't think we know enough yet if we can take dispensaries totally out of the question.
"We really need the animal study to nail down cause and effect", he said.
He mentioned he supported elevating the minimal buy age for e-cigarettes throughout the nation to 21 from 18. "We're coming out, we're very close to a final report, and we'll be giving it next week".
Juul Labs, maker of the top-selling brand of e-cigarette, issued a statement after the CDC announcement, noting that its nicotine products do not contain THC or any vitamin E compounds. Almost 28% of high schoolers and 11% of middle schoolers this year reported e-cigarette use within the past 30 days, a National Youth Tobacco Survey concluded. The investigation has found that many of these products patients used were bought online or received through friends or family, rather than through vaping shops or at licensed THC dispensaries.
A vitamin E acetate sample during a tour of the Medical Marijuana Laboratory of Organic and Analytical Chemistry at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, N.Y., on November 8, 2019. Investigators said it's a tantalizing clue, but can't yet be definitively linked to vaping injuries and deaths. But a Canadian study found that a sample of e-liquids purchased contained an average of only six chemicals. Further research is needed.
"We are in a better place in terms of having one very strong culprit", said the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat.
Hundreds of patients whose lungs were injured have acknowledged vaping THC - the main psychoactive component of marijuana - and previous tests have detected vitamin E in samples of THC vape products. According to the new report, samples taken from the lungs of 29 patients, including two who died, "provided evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury in the lungs", Schuchat said.
The official line released by the CDC is that vaping has "the potential to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products", but advises non-smokers "don't start". It is an antioxidant and can protect the body from damaging compounds called free radicals found in ultraviolet light, cigarette smoke and air pollution. The American Heart Association Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science provided research materials for the study, and it was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. The president said they would be discussing e-cigarette flavors as well.
Two surveys published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that almost 60 percent of high-school students and 54 percent of middle-school students reported that Juul was their favorite e-cigarette brand.