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More than 30 deaths from e-cigarettes in the US - mixing warning

New York - The number of e-cigarette deaths has continued to rise in the United States. As of Tuesday, 33 people in 24 US states had died after using electronic cigarettes, the CDC said on Thursday (local time).

The compositions of the ready-mixed liquids (liquids) for inhalation are more strictly regulated in Europe than in the USA. According to a current assessment by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), e-cigarette smokers do not face any increased risks if they use products that comply with European regulations. But there are dangers especially for self-mixers. To be on the safe side, "steamers" should watch out for symptoms such as breathing difficulties or chest pain, advises BfR President Andreas Hensel. "Especially after a product change."

Do not make mixtures yourself

Above all, however, the users of e-cigarettes should refrain from making mixtures themselves. Because without sufficient knowledge, there is a risk that substances such as oils are used when mixing them yourself. They could cause serious respiratory problems if you inhale. In reports to German poison information centers, for example, self-mixed e-liquids have often been the cause of health problems.

In the United States, a number of severe lung conditions including shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain have been reported within a short period of time after vaping e-cigarettes. Recently there was evidence that THC products could play a role in the illnesses and deaths. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is found in cannabis and is mainly responsible for the intoxicating effects of the drug. Among the more well-researched cases of the disease, the majority of patients reported having smoked products containing THC.

1,500 confirmed diseases in the United States

The dead were an average of 44 years old, the youngest 17, the oldest 75, reported the US health authorities. In addition, there are almost 1,500 confirmed diseases almost across the country. A week earlier, the number of deaths was 26 and the number of illnesses was just under 1,300. Controversial US supplier Juul Labs has since stopped selling flavored, fruit-flavored e-cigarettes in the United States, anticipating an impending ban.

The complaints still appear to be almost entirely confined to users in the United States. Isolated cases were mentioned from Canada.

According to the BfR, a liquid - usually nicotine-containing - is heated in the e-cigarette. As it evaporates, it can be inhaled. As far as we know today, e-cigarettes are less hazardous to health than conventional tobacco products. However, inadequately researched ingredients, impurities or new liquid and vaporizer products could increase the health risks.

Large amounts of steam in the lungs

In the case of high-performance "sub ohm" models, large amounts of the steam also reached the lungs directly. The effects are still largely unexplored. Nicotine-free liquids could also be problematic. Because they do not fall under tobacco law and therefore do not have to comply with any tobacco law provisions. This also included bans on the use of ingredients that are hazardous to health and the applicable reporting requirements. (APA, dpa, October 18, 2019)