CDC: Three more people died since last week from vaping-related illnesses

Vape shop owners worry a ban on all flavored vaping products will lead customers to make their own, which could be fatal.

Posted: Nov 14, 2019 5:39 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2019 3:15 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Hundreds of people are still getting sick from vaping products. The CDC came out with new numbers Thursday. There's now more than 2,100 people diagnosed with a vaping-related disease. That's 121 more cases in the last week.

Forty-two people have now died from the disease. Four of them are from California, while two are from Oregon.

Companies like EC Blend worry that if this ban does become permanent customers are just going to turn to making their own ingredients, which could be dangerous.

Tim Churchill smoked cigarettes for 30 years.

"They [customers] want to quit smoking they want to get away from tobacco," Churchill said. He tried everything to stop, but the only thing that worked was vaping.

"After two year, I was able to lay my vape pen down and quit smoking and quit vaping. I haven't done it in over four years."

A lot of customers vape, just like Churchill, to stop smoking cigarettes. Thursday, the CDC announced 3 more people died since last week from vaping related illnesses, bringing the death toll to 42.

Right now, all vaping products are banned in Washington where EC Blend has one of its shops.

Bob Foote, EC Blend CEO, said, "They're worried, the ones in Washington specifically are concerned about not being able to get their flavors."

"I am sure they will find flavors to mix their flavorless e-liquid with and that's a concern," Churchill said. "What are they going to put with their e-liquid?"

The full CDC report is below:

This complex investigation spans almost all states, involves over 2,000 patients, and a wide variety of brands and substances and e-cigarette, or vaping, products.

  • As of November 13, 2019, 2,172* cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 2 U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).
    • Forty-two deaths have been confirmed in 24 states and the District of Columbia (as of November 13, 2019).
      • The median age of deceased patients was 52 years and ranged from 17 to 75 years (as of November 13, 2019).
    • More deaths are under investigation.
  • Among 1,378 patients with data on sex (as of October 15, 2019):
    • 70% of patients are male.
  • Among 1,364 patients with data on age (as of October 15, 2019):
    • The median age of patients is 24 years and ages range from 13 to 75 years.
    • 79% of patients are under 35 years old.
    • By age group category:
      • 14% of patients are under 18 years old;
      • 40% of patients are 18 to 24 years old;
      • 25% of patients are 25 to 34 years old; and
      •  21% of patients are 35 years or older.
  • Among 867 patients with information on substances used in e-cigarette, or vaping, products in the 3 months prior to symptom onset** (as of October 15, 2019):
    • About 86% reported using THC-containing products; 34% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
    • About 64% reported using nicotine-containing products; 11% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.

The ingredients are the danger. The CDC announced a break-through in its investigation, revealing Vitamin E could be the cause of vape-related illnesses, which is often added in black market vaping products - not the ones sold in FDA approved businesses.

NewsWatch12's Cassidy Delamarter spoke with EC Blend about its ingredients and asked if Vitamin E could be found in EC Blend products.

"No, not at all," Derek Raymond, the general manager of production, said. "We do not have Vitamin E in anything that we carry, no Vitamin E, no THC, just strictly nicotine."

Foote said, "I think the bottom line is that we as a company want our customers to be safe and we know we offer them a safe product."

There is still a hold on the ban on flavored vaping products here in Oregon. 

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