Death toll of US vaping epidemic rises to 33

A total of 33 people in 24 US states have died from the mysterious lung illness linked to vaping THC products.

According to the Centers of Disease Control 1,479 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported.

The death toll has risen steadily since the first fatality in August. The CDC has dubbed the illness EVALI – e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury.

All patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Of the 849 patients the CDC was able to get data on what they vaped, 78% said they used THC.

Only Alaska has not had a death reported

A statement from the CDC reads: “We do know that THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.

“The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.”

The CDC is urging consumers not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.

“This is extremely complicated and difficult. It’s fatal or potentially fatal with half of the cases requiring intensive care,” CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat said Wednesday.

Key facts:

The median age of deceased patients was 44 years and ranged from 17 to 75 years.

Among 1,358 patients with data on age and sex:

  • 70% of patients are male.
  • The median age of patients is 23 years and ages range from 13 to 75 years.
  • 79% of patients are under 35 years old.
  • THC is present in most of the samples tested to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.

A total of 33 deaths have been confirmed in 24 states: Alabama, California (3), Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (2), Illinois, Indiana (3), Kansas (2), Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (3), Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

More deaths are under investigation.

Source: CDC