U.S. vaping-related deaths rise to 55, cases of illness to 2,561

FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) – U.S. health officials said on Tuesday one more death occurred since last week from a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping, taking the total toll to 55.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reported 2,561 cases from the illness associated with use of e-cigarettes, or vaping products, as of Dec. 27.

The agency released a series of reports on Friday indicating that the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries appears to be waning, as evidence mounts that vitamin E acetate, a cutting agent used in marijuana vape cartridges, is playing a role in the illnesses.

CDC has called vitamin E acetate as a “chemical of concern” and recommended that the substance not be added to e-cigarette, or vaping products, while the investigation is ongoing.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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