Seven dead and 500 sick in the United States, France opens the eye

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The effects of e-cigarettes or THC vaping on health are not well known at this stage. – Columbus Dispatch / TNS / Sipa USA / SIPA

The health alert in the United States remains valid. The epidemic of vaping-related lung disease continues in the United States, federal health authorities said on Thursday, still puzzling over exactly why, while Los Angeles plans to ban flavored electronic cigarettes.

The total number is 530 confirmed and probable cases, and seven deaths. More than half of the patients are under 25 years old, and three-quarters are men, she said. 16% of patients are under 18 years old. FDA Drug Agency's testing labs have more than 150 suspect specimens, but still have not identified the substance (s) responsible for these acute lung diseases, said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA Drug Center. tobacco to the FDA.

An open criminal investigation

"There is no common denominator about the product (s) used, how they are used, where they were purchased, and what may have happened between the moment the user gets them and the moment they are sprayed. and inhaled, "insisted the manager. Investigators are very cautious about the possible cause of diseases, be it a brand, a product, or a sales channel.

In many cases, the refills involved contained THC, the psychoactive principle of cannabis. These refills are mostly bought from dealers in the street or on the Internet, since cannabis remains illegal in a part of the United States. There may also be counterfeit refills, with poorly identified ingredients.

The FDA tests the samples to identify with what nicotine or THC have been cut, and to detect the presence of diluents, other additives, pesticides, poisons or toxins. The criminal investigation bureau of the federal agency is now involved, said Mitch Zeller.

Aromatized electronic cigarettes banned in Los Angeles?

The health authorities realized in July that something was happening in connection with vaping, as many young people with severe breathing difficulties, coughs, chest pains and even nausea. Most of the victims said they had vapoted cannabis liquids, but some said they used only nicotine liquids.

Meanwhile, Michigan and New York have decided to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, mainly because the aromas (such as mint, menthol, red fruits, mango or candy …) are attractive to young people. Tobacco e-cigarettes will remain authorized.

The city of Los Angeles could follow suit. The prosecutor of the metropolis Mike Feuer recommended Thursday the prohibition to the city council of the city in a report. India, on the other hand, banned all types of electronic cigarettes, flavored or not, this week.

France is monitoring the situation

The French health authorities will put in place a mechanism to monitor whether the use of electronic cigarettes is accompanied or not by an epidemic of severe pulmonary diseases. Public Health France, in conjunction with the Directorate General of Health (DGS, Ministry), "a device for reporting cases of severe pneumopathies occurring in users of electronic devices vaping (electronic cigarette, vaporizers) or practicing the '' dabbing '', explained the public body to AFP, confirming information from the Parisian-Today in France. Dabbing is a practice that is developing among cannabis users: it involves inhaling through a water pipe steam from a concentrated form of this drug, heated with a small blowtorch.

The French system, designed with the support of the French-speaking Society of Pneumology, the French Language Resuscitation Society and the French Society of Emergency Medicine, "is based on reports of serious pulmonary diseases taken in France. charge in hospitals ".

"This specific watch is not intended to monitor the potential risks associated with vaping but to detect the emergence of a possible epidemic of severe pneumopathies related to the use of electronic vaping devices, similar to that observed in the United States. States, "says Public Health France.

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