California health officials Tuesday urged consumers to stop vaping marijuana or tobacco products until investigators determine why hundreds of people nationwide have been sickened after using the devices.
The Massachusetts Department of Health said last week that there has been a steady rise in vaping-related illnesses since a mandate was issued requiring clinicians across the state to report all suspected cases of unexplained e-cigarette or vaping-associated pulmonary disease.
With more than 500 people diagnosed with vaping related lung issues in the US and eight deaths linked to the "smoking alternative", MA has become the first state to ban all vaping products for the near term.
For those who continue vaping, public health officials urge consumers to avoid buying vaping products on the street, using marijuana-derived oil with the products, or modifying store-bought vape products.
Schuchat emphasized that the CDC has still not identified any specific product or compound - including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the high-inducing component of marijuana, or Vitamin E acetate - that is linked to all cases of the illness.
Bans on sales of flavored vaping products took effect this month in NY and MI, and the Trump administration said it plans to enact a similar regulation at the federal level.
The ban, which applies to flavored and non-flavored products, took immediate effect and will last through January 25, officials said.
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"We are seeing something that we have not seen before", said Dr. Charity Dean, the California's acting public health officer.
Lawmakers explaining new vaping restrictions in other states have focused on the broader threat of teen addiction, as health officials' investigations connect numerous lung illness cases with marijuana products bought off the street.
"We're declaring this public health emergency because medical and disease control experts have been tracking the rapidly increasing number of vaping related illnesses that in some cases have led to death", Baker said at a press conference in the Boston statehouse.
"This could include legislation and regulations", it continued.
"What I heard was deeply troubling", he said. In 2017, 41 percent of MA youth reported trying e-cigarettes, and 1 in 5 reported regular use.
The U.S. Surgeon General has deemed youth e-cigarette use an "epidemic".
The Massachusetts ban takes effect immediately.