The number of vaping-related illnesses in the United States has risen to around 1,300 cases, with 219 reported last week, and includes at least 26 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC).
The number had risen by 275 each of the previous two weeks, and until one reason is clarified, the CDC advises Americans to refrain from using any vaping products.
Forty-five states and one US territory have reported illnesses. The only state that has not seen a case is Alaska. The outbreak appears to have started in March. The symptoms include severe shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.
Texas is the last state to have recorded its first death associated with vaping-related lung disease.
The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed Wednesday that an elderly woman in North Texas died last week of a lung disease related to the use of electronic cigarettes.
The Health Service Agency states that the state has also identified 95 confirmed or probable cases of lung disease related to vaping. The department goes on to say that among the diseases, nearly 90% of patients reported gun marijuana or THC, the high-yielding ingredient in marijuana. This corresponds to the CDC's finding that THC is a leading cause of the disease.
The agency claims the disease affects patients as young as 1
Wednesday, First Lady Melania Trump held a "listening session" at the White House where a small group of teenagers from across the country told her about their experiences with e-cigarettes.
"We have to be proactive before it gets out of control," Trump said during the event. She also said she is pleased that some stores are pulling electronic cigarettes off the shelves in the midst of an explosion in gunfire among young people, calling it a necessary step to protect the next generation.
The Truth Initiative, a nonprofit, anti-tobacco organization, brought the group of nine students to meet the first lady of the ornate Blue House Blue Room. The organization wants the federal government to ban all flavors used in vaping, including mint and menthol, among other steps.
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Luka Kinard, 16, of High Point, North Carolina, said he quit gunfire only after spending 39 days in rehabilitation in California in October 2018.
Kinard said he had been using e-cigarettes for about a year when he began to experience intense chest pain, insomnia, and cold sweat; and believed he had a heart attack at 3pm. He said his parents believed a seizure he sustained in September 2018 was tied to gunfire, and they sent him away for treatment.
"It wasn't until my parents acknowledged" Hey, this is really a problem, "he told the first lady.
Asked by Trump about how to get e-cigarettes, Kinard said he got them from friends or by hanging out in smoke shops or gas stations and recruiting strangers to get his products.
"We must be proactive"
Ally Harrison, 18, said that she suffered from physical and mental ailments, including heart palpitations and panic attacks.
Friends in her hometown of Baytown, Texas, urged her to vape, assuring her that it would "calm you down," but it had the opposite effect. . "I had worse panic attacks. The fear was always there, "Ally said.
Federal statistics show a significant increase in teenage vaping between 2017 and 2018. More than 1 in 4 high school students reported vaping in the past month, up from 1 in 5 students According to the latest statistics in 2018, the use of e-cigarettes among students has also increased, with federal health officials calling this alarming trend an "epidemic" and fears that teenagers who vape will eventually start smoking.
of young people, a few major retailers have said they will no longer sell these products.
Last month, Walmart, the country's largest retailer, said it would stop selling electronic cigarettes in its name stores and Sam's Clubs in United States when it sells its current stock.
This led to intense pressure on other retailers, and the supermarket chain Kroger and the Walgreens pharmacy chain announced on Monday that they will follow Walmarts
Juul Labs Inc., the nation's largest manufacturer of electronic cigarettes, quits advertising in the United States
In response to rampant youth growth, President Donald Trump recently announced that the federal government will act to ban thousands of flavors used In e-cigarettes, mostly the fruity flavors that are believed to entice young people to start weaponizing.
The First Lady, who has a 13-year-old son, Barron, went public with the concerns of youth vaping in a tweet last month. She sat down with the president when he announced the proposed ban, and Wednesday's roundtable was the second time she highlighted young people's arms this week.
"It's important to me that we all work to educate children and families about the dangers of this habit," Trump said while attending an event in memory of the Drug Enforcement Administration's red tape. "Marketing this addictive product to children must stop. "
CLICK HERE FOR THE WHOLE NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM  Ban on certain weapons products that have become in place in many states, including Massachusetts and New York. Industry groups, such as the American Vaping Association, which represent manufacturers and dealers of e-cigarettes and vaping solutions, oppose and argue that banning vaping products could create a "black market" for them, pushing adults who turned out to vaping as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, to go back to smoking.