WASHINGTON: The number of death cases linked to vaping e-cigarettes has increased to 26, including some 1300, suffering of lung injuries in the United States.
Officials have yet to identify the cause for the outbreak, which dates back to late March and is pursuing multiple lines of investigation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 26 deaths in 21 states had now been linked to vaping, along with 1,299 cases of injury.
Among a group of 1,043 patients for whom there was data on sex and age, 70 percent were male while 80 percent were under 35.
E-cigarettes have been available in the US since 2006, and it is not clear whether the outbreak is only happening now or if there were cases earlier that were wrongly diagnosed.
The use of e-cigarette has increased rapidly among teens, with preliminary official data for 2019 showing more than a quarter of high school students used e-cigarettes in the past month.
They were until recently noted as a less harmful alternative to smoking because they do not contain the 7,000 chemicals in cigarettes, dozens of which are known to cause cancer.