Vaping

Esther Honig / KUNC

Since the first reports of a mysterious lung illness surfaced in August, the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are 530 cases, including six in Colorado. Seven deaths have also been associated with this condition, known as a “vaping related pulmonary injury.”

It's still a mystery — what's causing the cluster of severe respiratory illnesses among people who've used e-cigarettes? The FDA says there have been at least 215 reported cases in 25 states.

Nearly three dozen of those cases are in New York state, and investigators there say they are now zeroing in on vitamin E as a possible culprit. Health officials say state lab tests detected high levels of vitamin E in cartridges of cannabis vaping products used by people who vaped and suffered serious lung damage.

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Colorado health officials say one person has been confirmed with a severe lung disease that appears to be linked to electronic cigarette products.

The Denver Post reported Thursday that the state Department of Public Health and Environment is investigating a possible second case of the illness that was reported to health officials Tuesday.

Scientists don't know much yet about the long-term effects of "vape juice," the liquid used in e-cigarettes and vaporizers. But researchers analyzing the liquid and the vapor produced when it's heated say some kinds of e-liquids are reacting to form irritating chemicals called acetals while they're sitting on shelves.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from Juul.

Popular e-cigarette company Juul's November 2018 commitment to stop marketing its products to youth on social media may have done little to curb the brand's reach among young people.

Lindsay Fox / ecigarettereviewed.com / CC BY 2.0

A law against public vaping has taken effect across Colorado.

The Durango Herald reports the new state law beginning Monday prohibits vaping in most public places, including bars and restaurants.

In his almost two years as FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb has overseen a crackdown on the tobacco industry and on electronic cigarettes. It's an effort he hopes the agency will continue after he steps down in April.

That's because, he says, of increased e-cigarette use among America's youth. If that continues, he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, the FDA should consider banning them.

Lindsay Fox / ecigarettereviewed.com / CC BY 2.0

Cannabis advocates are watching closely as Colorado lawmakers consider limits on where e-cigarettes can be used in an effort to combat rising teen use of nicotine-containing vaping devices.

A bipartisan bill getting its first hearing Wednesday would add electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which restricts tobacco use at the workplace and in many public spaces.

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Colorado teens vape more than teens in any other state studied by federal researchers and at twice the rate of the national average. That's according to federal research on vaporizers, or e-cigarettes, and it leads health experts to warn that teens either misunderstand or underestimate the risks.

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