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CDC reports 380 lung illnesses related to vaping, advocates argue the benefits

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Sep 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-15 19:00:57-04

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, there have been 380 confirmed and probable cases of lung-related illnesses linked to e-cigarettes or vaping products and six confirmed deaths.

This is a decrease after the CDC reported 480 possible cases of this lung illness earlier last week.

According to CBS News, doctors say the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury, with the body apparently reacting to a caustic substance that someone breathed in. Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

In just the last week, President Trump has adjusted his stance on vaping, from the potential ban of all flavored e-cigarettes, to issuing a statement, Friday--urging Americans to avoid counterfeit products.

The illnesses are seen as a new phenomenon, and it's taken weeks for CDC officials to come up with a solid definition and for states to start following it. Thursday's numbers from the CDC were the first based on the new definition, which counts only breathing illnesses with abnormal chest X-rays, a recent history of vaping, and lab work done to rule out other possible causes.

No single device, liquid or ingredient has been identified as the cause, and health officials are advising people not to vape at all until more is known.

The states reporting vaping-related lung illnesses to the CDC are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The previously reported deaths, were in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and Oregon.

The FDA and the Trump Administration issued a statement Friday urging the importance of not purchasing counterfeit vaping products.

Advocates argue the benefit of e-cigarettes in place of smoking. One such argument is that vaping is less evasive as smoking cigarettes, which has yet to be proven.