As vaping-linked deaths rise to 33, officials are still seeking answers


Lung illnesses and deaths linked to vaping nationwide have continued to rise as federal health officials expand lab testing to understand the mysterious afflictions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

As of Oct. 15, the CDC has confirmed 33 deaths among 1,479 lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarettes — up from at least 1,299 cases and 26 deaths announced last week. The cases span every state but Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia and one U.S. territory.

The rapidly rising fatality numbers since the first death was reported in August have helped fuel a crackdown on battery-powered devices that simulate smoking. Health advocates have long raised alarms that products touted as a healthier alternative to cigarettes are getting youths addicted to nicotine, and the Trump administration plans to ban the flavored products often blamed for drawing in young people. Some policymakers are also citing the recent surge in vaping-related illnesses as they halt e-cigarette sales at the state level.

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