The number of e-cigarette deaths has continued to rise in the US. By Tuesday, 33 people had died in 24 US states after using electronic cigarettes, the CDC said.
The dead were an average of 44 years old, the youngest 17, the oldest 75, reported to the US Department of Health. In addition, there are nearly 1500 confirmed diseases almost throughout the country. A week earlier, the number of deaths had been 26, those of the disease at just 1300.
According to a recent assessment by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), users of e-cigarettes in Germany face no increased risks – provided they buy products that comply with European and German regulations. "Steamer" should nevertheless pay attention to symptoms such as breathing difficulties or chest pain, advises BfR President Andreas Hensel. "Especially after a product change."
The agency also warns against producing liquids themselves. Without adequate knowledge, the risk of self-mixing is that substances such as oils would be used, according to the BfR. This could lead to severe respiratory diseases when inhaled. So far, self-mixed e-liquids have been the cause of health problems in reports to German poison information centers.
In the US, hundreds of severe lung diseases with respiratory distress, cough and chest pain have been reported within a short period of time after e-cigarette vaporisation. In part, gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea or fever are added. In some cases, the symptoms worsened within days and weeks so much that they need artificial respiration.
Before the authorities attribute the diseases to e-cigarettes, they rule out, among other things, that those affected suffer from an infection or that there is a cardiological or rheumatic cause.
It is still unclear what causes the diseases. There are indications that products containing THC – the main active ingredient in cannabis – could play a role in diseases and deaths. In the cases already investigated, a majority of patients reported having used THC-containing products.
The complaints seem to be confined almost exclusively to users in the US – isolated cases have been reported in Canada. In Germany and throughout Europe, no similar increase in lung damage has been reported so far. Here, however, Liquds are regulated more strictly.