Fox News' Dr. Siegel: 'Home-brew' inhalants likely to blame for spike in vaping-related illnesses

After a young man in Oregon died from a vaping-related illness, Fox News’ Dr. Marc Siegel explained on Friday that the dangers of inhaling "home-brews" and other unregulated marijuana-laden products are likely to blame.

Siegel told “America’s Newsroom” that there is "a lot of evidence" that THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] and other illegal substances are being vaped, leading to a spike in lung illnesses linked to vaping and e-cigarettes.

"The American Vaping Association is, of course, saying it's illegal vape that’s coming with THC or marijuana-like products in areas where it is illegal,” he said, also stressing that in New York authorities are finding that people are vaping vitamin E.

“Vitamin E, though it is good for the lungs, is toxic to the lungs if you inhale it," he said, explaining that to inhale vitamin E, chemicals must be added to make it into an aerosol.

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A surge of mysterious respiratory illnesses prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue an advisory on Friday against using e-cigarettes. Health officials said that as of Aug. 27, 215 cases of lung disease reported in 25 states were possibly linked to vaping.

Investigators are looking into the death of an Oregon resident from "severe respiratory illness” after the person used an e-cigarette device in July. A similar fatal case in Illinois last month marked what U.S. officials said was the first vaping-related death.

Anchor Julie Banderas reported that 3.62 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes last year, while 6.9 million adults used the products in 2017.

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Siegel said the FDA must make sure that the laws against minors purchasing vaping products are being enforced.

He said it remains true that vaping legal e-cigarettes and other regulated products is much safer than cigarettes, which contain tar and cause lung cancer.