The mysterious vape lung disease now has a name

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic published some early findings last week that suggest toxic chemical exposure might be the culprit

By Kieran Delamont

2019-10-08

Vaping related illnesses in the U.S. have made people think twice before puffing away on a vape pen. 

Now the mysterious disease has a name – Vaping Associated Pulmonary Illness (or VAPI).

Researchers are still trying to get to the bottom of what’s causing it. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic published some early findings in The New England Journal of Medicine last week after examining biopsies from 17 patients. They suggest toxic chemical exposure might be the culprit. And they compare the effect to sudden exposure to industrial chemical spills.

Some 12 deaths and hundreds of illnesses have been confirmed in 10 states. But it’s unclear to what extent vaping CBD or THC may have played a role in the illnesses.

A handful of states have instituted bans on flavoured vape cartridges. Others are considering warning labels. Some are still mulling over what to do.

Legalization advocates, meanwhile, worry the public outcry caused by the illnesses may set back legalization efforts. They are calling on state governments to reconsider outright bans, noting that the majority of illnesses seem to be related to counterfeit products. 

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