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The recent crackdown on vaping products has sparked new fears among health experts.
Over the past several weeks, a slew of public officials have proposed to ban e-cigarettes in their respective cities and states, citing growing concerns over vaping-related illnesses and deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that out of the 805 reported lung injury cases, most of the patients admitted to using THC-containing products or "both THC-containing products and nicotine-containing products," while some reported using only nicotine-containing products.
Though health officials have yet to identify the source of these illnesses, many have urged consumers to give up vaping until further notice.
"While this investigation is ongoing, CDC recommends that you consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC," the CDC wrote.
On Friday, the agency confirmed at least a dozen U.S. deaths tied to e-cigarette products, prompting calls for a nationwide vaping prohibition; however, some physicians have expressed concerns that a full ban could cause a surge in tobacco use, and consequently more deaths.
It's no secret that many people have switched to vaping in an effort to quit smoking tobacco. Though experts have warned about the potential health risks of vaping, a number of reports indicate that it is an effective way to quit combustible cigarettes, which are considered much more dangerous.
Several physicians have also pointed out that the majority of the vaping-related respiratory diseases have involved the use of THC-containing products, rather than nicotine products.
"It appears many if not most of the lung injuries are related to illegal vapes that contain dangerous oils. This includes many THC and CBD products but may also include illegally bought nicotine vapes and counterfeit e-cig products," former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb tweeted this week. "That doesn’t mean legal e-cigs are safe. They’re not. The point was that they could be a potentially less harmful alternative for currently addicted adult smokers who could use e-cigs to fully transition off combustible tobacco."
Gottlieb also stressed the concerns about the epidemic of teen vaping and the way it fueled the market for illegal e-cigarette products.