Health officials, lawmakers and parents have been raising alarms about vaping for a couple of years, warning that products touted as healthier alternatives for smokers are instead drawing in young people with fun flavors and slick marketing — concerns the Trump administration cited this month while announcing plans to ban most flavored e-cigarettes.
The caution has taken on new urgency in recent weeks as authorities scramble to understand a rash of mysterious vaping-linked illnesses that have put healthy people in the hospital with serious lung diseases. Federal officials say there have been at least 1,080 injuries and 18 deaths connected to e-cigarettes, battery-powered devices that can look like flash drives and pens and that mimic smoking by heating liquids containing substances such as nicotine and marijuana.
How did the concerns start?
E-cigarettes have been sold for more than a decade, but reports of vaping-linked illness started proliferating this year.
An investigation by state health departments in Illinois and Wisconsin traces the first signs of illness among 53 tracked patients to April. The victims — mostly young men with a median age of 19 — overwhelmingly ended up in the hospital, many under intensive care. A third went on respirators. [Read More @ The Washington Post]