It isn't the latest internet slang. An alarming trend has prompted Ohio Department of Health officials to speak out; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update their recommendations. "That's more than double the 215 cases reported a week ago".
Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg slammed the FDA for contributing to the epidemic of teen vaping in the U.S. The billionaire philanthropist announced Tuesday that his non-profit, Bloomberg Philanthropies, is pledging $160 million to fund a new program aimed at ending vaping among teens. But, he says, Cuomo's proposal to ban flavored e-cigarettes may shut down his store.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Saturday that, "people should not be using vaping products, period". The liquid can contain nicotine, flavorings and other ingredients. Such warnings may encourage former smokers who are now vaping to start smoking again, a decision that exposes them to much greater health risks.
The symptoms of these illnesses include cough, fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea and vomiting.
According to the CDC, five deaths have been linked to vaping to date while 450 other suspicious cases of lung illness are under investigation to determine if e-cigarette usage could have been a factor.
All of the cases reported to the CDC "have a history of using e-cigarette products", the agency said.
Vaping concerns in Canada after US deaths, illness
The investigation by the health department "could very well lead to the banning of all products" relating to vaping, he noted, but the state "can't ban that which the federal government approves".
But no one knows for sure, and Cuomo, speaking in New York City on Monday, is urging caution.
The patient, Berlin said, was "critically ill", not able to inhale enough oxygen and required the assistance of a breathing machine.
"This is an epidemic", said Berlin, who has been a practicing respiratory therapist in Orlando for 35 years. Data from California and New Mexico, like the IL and Wisconsin cases analyzed in the NEJM study, point to THC products as the main issue.
Berlin isn't alone in his use of the word "epidemic". "We urge the public to be vigilant about any vaping products that they or any family members may be using and to immediately contact their health care provider if they develop any unusual symptoms". The CDC and FDA seem to also be anxious that the vitamin E found in many e-cigs and the THC could be the cause of the recent health issues experienced by vapers. Altria Group Inc owns a 35 percent stake in Juul.