BOISE — Idaho governor Brad Little continues to weigh options related to vaping products and a disease health officials are linking to the popular practice. Oregon governor Kate Brown announced a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products earlier Friday.
Idaho public health officials have confirmed six cases of a mysterious illness related to vaping. President Donald Trump has floated the idea of banning flavored e-cigarette flavors, then followed that announcement by saying he isn't against vaping altogether.
While I like the Vaping alternative to Cigarettes, we need to make sure this alternative is SAFE for ALL! Let’s get counterfeits off the market, and keep young children from Vaping!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2019
On Friday, Governor Brad Little (R-Idaho) released a statement about his own administration's efforts to research and cope with the illness linked to vaping and the practice and sale of vaping products.
Recently, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has confirmed instances of respiratory disease attributed to the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. I am watching these issues closely in order to determine options and solutions moving forward.”
The Associated Press reports Oregon joins Washington, New York, Michigan and Rhode Island as states with temporary bans after today's decision.
A letter published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine says lung damage in those using e-cigarettes might be caused by chemicals in the vape liquid.
The findings are among the first to offer insight into what might have sickened more than 800 people in recent months who vaped . At least 17 people nationwide have died from vaping-related illnesses. The cause is unclear, although several federal and state agencies are investigating.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic found the lung damage was similar to a chemical burn. "It seems to be some kind of direct chemical injury, similar to what one might see with exposures to toxic chemical fumes, poisonous gases and toxic agents," Dr. Brandon Larsen, a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said in a hospital press release.
The researchers looked at samples of lung tissue from 17 people, all of whom had vaped and 70% had used marijuana or cannabis oils. Two of the samples were taken from patients who died, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The accumulation of fatty substances such as oils were suspected in the lung damage, but researchers said there was no evidence they were the cause.
"Based on what we have seen in our study, we suspect that most cases involve chemical contaminants, toxic byproducts or other noxious agents within vape liquids," Larsen said.
The question that remains for researchers is what those chemicals are that may be causing the injuries. More investigation into that is needed, Larsen said.