The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a major increase in the number of cases of vaping-related lung disease identified in the US.
In just a week, the number of people who have experienced lung injuries linked with the use of e-cigarette products has jumped from 380 to 530. Seven deaths have been confirmed in six states.
The CDC has received complete sex and age data on 373 cases. It says two-thirds (67%) of cases have been identified in people aged 18 to 34 years, 16 per cent are younger than 18 years and 17 per cent are 35 years or older.
Authorities say they have still not identified a specific cause of the lung illnesses, but most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), many patients have reported using THC and nicotine and some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.
In a statement, CDC Director Robert R. Redfield encouraged people to consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products, and said efforts are needed in particular to reduce the use of e-cigarettes in young people.