6 more vaping illnesses reported, bringing total to 31 in the state


(WTNH)– Six more Connecticut residents have been reported ill with lung injuries related to using e-cigarettes or vaping.

According to the Department of Public Health, those six residents have brought the total to 31 cases of lung injuries related to vaping in the state.

Three patients are still hospitalized at this time.

The DPH said that the age breakdown of the patients is as follows: Under 18 years of age (five), 18 to 24 years of age (seven), 25 to 34 years of age (eight), 35 years of age and older (11).

Twenty-nine of those patients were hospitalized between June and October of 2019, one was hospitalized last December, and the other was not hospitalized at all.

Related: CT teens out of the loop on dangers of vaping, say they need to be reached via social media

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Oct. 8, 1,299 cases of vaping-related lung injury had been reported from 49 states and one U.S.territory.

Twenty-six deaths have also been confirmed in 21 states, including one fatality from Connecticut.

Health experts are urging people not to put THC into vape pens, fearing that vitamin E could be present.

“The THC is actually mixed in vitamin E, so the vitamin E is what propels into the lung,” said Prashant Grover MD, Saint Francis Hospital. “And vitamin E directly into the lung can cause injury.”

During a CDC and FDA hearing in September, Dr. Ned Sharpless, acting commissioner of the FDA, said vitamin E was present in some THC products. He described the vitamin as a skin oil and said it had “no business being in a pulmonary product.”

Doctors said vapers should see their doctors during flu season because the time of year could make it harder to diagnose vaping-related illnesses.

Related: Flu season could make diagnosing vaping-related illnesses more challenging, doctors say

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