AMA warns against use of e-cigs in light of lung illness reports

Sept 9 (Reuters) - The American Medical Association (AMA) on Monday urged people to avoid the use of e-cigarette products across the United States until health officials could further investigate and understand the cause of lung illnesses across the country.

“In light of increasing reports of e-cigarette-associated lung illnesses across the country, the AMA urges the public to avoid the use of e-cigarette products ...,” AMA President Patrice Harris said in a statement.

At least five people in the United States have died from a lung illness possibly tied to vaping. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is probing 450 cases of lung illness that may have been caused by e-cigarette use around the country.

E-cigarettes are generally thought to be safer than traditional cigarettes, which kill up to half of all lifetime users, according to the World Health Organization. But the long-term health effects of vaping are largely unknown.

“We must not stand by while e-cigarettes continue to go unregulated. We urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to speed up the regulation of e-cigarettes and remove all unregulated products from the market,” AMA’s Harris added. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)