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US vaping-related deaths rise to 60

US vaping-related deaths rise to 60

US health officials have confirmed three more people have died from respiratory illness linked to vaping, bringing the total death toll to 60.

US vaping-related deaths rise to 60

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reported 66 new cases of the illness, with the number of people hospitalised now standing at 2,668.

Deaths have occurred in 27 states, and hospitalisations have occurred in all 50.

According to CDC, approximately 82 per cent of patients hospitalised had used vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) –the main psychoactive component in marijuana that produces the ‘high’.

In November, US officials reported vitamin E acetate had been found in fluid samples collected from the lungs of 48 out of 51 patients with vaping-related lung injury.

The chemical is sometimes used as a diluting agent in THC vaping products.

Scientists believe the sticky oil could be coating the lungs, causing inflammation and damage.

One-sixth of patients who developed lung injuries from e-cigarettes containing THC obtained the product from legal dispensaries.

Officials say evidence is not sufficient to rule out the contribution of other chemicals of concern.

There have been no cases of vaping-related illness in Australia or New Zealand to date, but health authorities are on high alert amid the growing epidemic in America.

Patients suffering from vaping-related illnesses have complained of difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and/or chest pain. Some also experienced diarrhoea, vomiting, fever and fatigue.

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