WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published on Monday its first report of lung injury illnesses associated with the use of e-cigarettes, showing that the lung disease disproportionately affected young people.
As of October 22, 49 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands had reported 1,604 cases of vaping-related disease. Most of them were young white males, according to the CDC.
Among patients with available data, 79 percent were under age 35, and 70 percent were males. About half of the cases, and two deaths, occurred in patients under age 25.
A total of 34 deaths were reported in patients with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury, according to the CDC.
"These new insights can help bring us a step closer to identifying the cause or causes of this outbreak," said CDC director Robert R. Redfield.
The report also reinforces that products containing THC, the principal psychoactive compound in marijuana, continue to play a major role in the outbreak.
Among 867 patients with information on substances used in e-cigarettes three months prior to symptom onset, 86 percent reported any use of THC-containing products, 52 percent reported any use of both THC-containing products and nicotine-containing products and 34 percent reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
The increasing number of vaping-related deaths has alarmed the country. The US Food and Drug Administration is coming up with a policy that will clear the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products.
No one compound or ingredient has been found till now to be the cause of these illnesses. The CDC recommended people to refuse e-cigarette products that contain THC and refrain from using any e-cigarette.