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article imageCalifornia launches anti-vaping ad campaign after 7th death

By Karen Graham     Sep 17, 2019 in Health
A California man has become the seventh person to die from a vaping-related illness in the U.S. as the nation's leading health agency activates emergency operations to better investigate the outbreak of lung injuries associated with e-cigarettes.
According to CNN, the most recent e-cigarette fatality, the nation's seventh so far, is a 40-year-old from California, the second death in that state. Dr. Karen Haught, the Tulare County public health officer, said: “With sadness, we report that there has been a death of a Tulare County resident suspected to be related to severe pulmonary injury associated with vaping."
Dr. Haught also warned "the long-term effects of vaping on health are unknown" and that "anyone considering vaping should be aware of the serious potential risk associated with vaping." Vaping-related illnesses have also killed another person in Los Angeles, California, plus one person each in Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon, officials have reported.
CDC activates Emergency Operations Center
The CDC says that by activating the EOC, it "allows the agency to provide increased operational support for the response to meet the outbreak’s evolving challenges. Agency subject matter experts will continue to lead the CDC response with enhanced support from additional CDC and EOC staff."
According to data, there have been 380 confirmed cases of lung damage caused by vaping in 36 states - plus the US Virgin Islands. Of those cases, there have been seven confirmed deaths, reports the UK's The Sun.
CDC Director Robert Redfield said: "CDC has made it a priority to find out what is causing this outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping-related injuries and deaths."
An e-cigarette
An e-cigarette
Christopher Cornelius (CC BY 2.0)
No evidence of what is causing deaths
The CDC says it does not know exactly what is causing an outbreak of lung disease among those who vape, nor has the agency linked any specific e-cigarette or vaping product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) or substance that is common to all cases.
The FDA, on the other hand, believes vape liquid containing THC - the psychoactive agent in cannabis - could be to blame and have issued a warning. Last week, President Donald Trump suggested the FDA ban all flavored e-cigarettes. However, many patients have said they have no knowledge about the substances they might have used - making identification of what the common denominator could be.
California announces anti-vaping ad campaign
Over the rising concerns associated with vaping-caused lung illnesses, California Governor Gavin Newsome announced on Monday a $20 million ad campaign to warn about the dangers of vaping and a crackdown on counterfeit products, as well as a closer look at adding firmer warnings on e-cigarette packaging and upping the tax on vaping paraphernalia.
Governor Newsome notes that a pack of cigarettes carries a tax of $2.87, while a Juul pod, for example, gets only a $1.48 tax. The aim of the investigation will"substantially increase taxes to these products," said Newsom, who included the measures in an executive order he said is needed because of a lack of legislative efforts.
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