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The CDC Just Backed Off Its Broad Recommendation Against Vaping and E-Cigarettes

By Jim Crumly - Jan 17, 2020 at 5:56PM

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Studies continue to point to the real culprit behind recent lung injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an update Friday on e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) that deleted language from previous updates recommending that people refrain from all use of e-cigarette or vaping products.

The CDC's December update on the vaping crisis said that although vitamin E acetate appears to be associated with EVALI, there could be more causes, and therefore "the best way for people to ensure that they are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products." That specific recommendation was omitted from today's press release. 

The CDC continues to warn against e-cigarette and vape use by youths, young adults, and pregnant women.

Person smoking a e-cigarette.

Image source: Getty Images.

The softening of the CDC's position as studies zero in on vitamin E acetate as the likely culprit could improve the outlook for Altria (MO -3.97%) and Philip Morris (PM -5.35%), tobacco companies that have invested heavily in vaporizers and e-cigarettes. Altria has a stake in JUUL Labs and Philip Morris has an e-cigarette product called IQOS.

The marijuana industry isn't off the hook, though. In fact, 82% of EVALI patients reported using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continue to recommend that people not use THC-containing vaporizers or e-cigarettes, saying that abstaining from those products is "the best way to avoid potentially harmful effects" from THC use.

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