(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are working together to investigate numerous cases of respiratory illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes.
In a statement, CDC Director Robert Redfield and Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless say they were “deeply saddened…to learn of the death of an adult in Illinois who had been hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness following the use of an e-cigarette product.”
The statement notes that there have been 215 possible cases of these diseases reported in 25 states. The most common symptoms include breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain. The onset of those symptoms has been gradual in many cases.
It remains unclear whether the illnesses have a common cause, or if there are different diseases with similar symptoms.
The CDC and FDA say that anyone who uses e-cigarette products should avoid purchasing those products off the street, should not modify the products, and should not use substances in those products that were not intended by the manufacturer. They also recommend that youths, young adults, pregnant women, and adults who don’t already use tobacco products should avoid starting to use them.
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