The number of cases of vaping-related illnesses spiked sharply again this week as pressure mounts to uncover the cause of the mysterious symptoms.

There have been 805 confirmed and probable cases of lung injury linked with e-cigarette use across 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday. The case count marks a surge from the 530 cases reported last week, and the 380 cases reported the week prior. The agency also reported 12 deaths linked to the illnesses. 

Many of the patients said they had vaped THC, but many also vaped both THC and nicotine. Some patients have said they only used e-cigarettes for nicotine products, but health officials have noted that some patients are hesitant to disclose THC use. Health officials still have not identified a culprit or culprits behind the recent spate of illnesses. 

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“This is a complex investigation and I don’t think that we should expect definitive answers imminently. This may take some time,” the CDC’s principal deputy director, Anne Schuchat, told reporters last week. 

At a congressional hearing Wednesday, Schuchat said she is “extremely frustrated with the pace of the investigation,” which has been complicated by the vast market of vaping products. She also noted that the data collection needed for the investigation is reliant on “antiquated systems,” which has slowed the process down. 

The illnesses have escalated an ongoing conversation about the potential health risks related to e-cigarette use. They have also sparked legislative action to rein in vaping, particularly among young people. On Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products in the state. And on Wednesday, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a temporary ban on flavored vaping products.

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  • i’m 17, and i have an njoy. i also now have, the flu. i threw my njoy away cold turkey. i don’t have health insurance. i require medical attention but i don’t know how to receive it.

  • I thing the lung illness is coming from black market THC juice. I’ve been vaping nicotine since 2011 with no issues and my lungs are checked every other year during a physical. If it was nicotine juice making people sick, I would have died years ago. Unfortunately, As long as THC is illegal in some states you’re going to have people buying unsafe THC oil on the street because it’s the only option. Street dealers can cut the THC oil with anything to increase profits making it extremely unsafe. Almost all of the cases of this lung illness involved people using THC. I would imagine there are others who don’t want to admit they use THC illegally depending on their state. It’s sad that adult vapers are being punished for underage vaping. I think parents would rather blame the vaping industry instead of taking responsibility for their parenting choices. Also, if vaping is accused of using flavors to attract teens, why isn’t flavored alcohol being banned too? You can buy every flavor of vodka imaginable. For a lot of people, the different flavors they vape plays a key role in abstaining from cigarettes. Teens are going to vape whatever they can get their hands on. They won’t give up vaping because they can’t find a specific flavor. I was a teen smoker and I couldn’t care less about getting ahold of a specific brand of cigarettes. I smoked whatever I could find. A flavor ban will only effect the adults vaping legally.

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