NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- Connecticut health officials now say there have been 13 people in the state hospitalized for severe lung injuries possibly linked to using e-cigarettes and vaping.

The announcement came on Thursday, where the Department of Public Health said 12 of those patients have since been released from the hospital.

Of the 18 cases, nine were in Fairfield County, five were in New Haven County, and Hartford, New London, Tolland, Windham counties each had one.

The age breakdowns of the patients is four under 18 years of age, eleven between the ages of 18 and 34 years, and three patients are 35 years and older. 

Health officials said they’ve interviewed nine of the 18 patients so far, all of whom reported using vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive component of the marijuana plant.

“These products were purchased from another person (6 cases), bought from a dispensary (1 case), purchased but not from a dispensary (1 case), and given product by another person (1 case). Three of the nine reported using e-cigarette products containing nicotine, in addition to products containing THC,” health officials said.

The first case was reported on Aug. 14.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products nationwide rose to 530.

“I am asking Connecticut residents to consider not using e-cigarette or vaping products while the investigation is ongoing and the search for the exact causes of these lung illnesses continues,” said DPH Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell. “If you chose to continue vaping, you should avoid buying vaping products off the street or from another person, including a friend.”

Bianca Nadeau started vaping when she was 18-years-old. 

"I feel it more in my throat. I like to tell myself that it's the season changing every time, but it's probably not," Nadeau said. 

Nadeau is now 21-years-old and says she believes she's been feeling side effects recently. 

"It just feels scratchy. The liquid from the vape juice sometimes gets in your throat and it's a gross flavor that sits in there for a while," Nadeau said. 

From a parent's perspective, the hospitalizations are frightening and they're now talking with their children, the same way they used to sit them down to talk about drinking and drugs. 

"I basically told her that I don't think it's such a good idea. It might affect your lungs and it could be addictive," said John Petrucelli. 

States like New York and Michigan has banned the sale of flavored vape juices. 

Connecticut hasn't made a move on banning them yet. 

"I feel like I have grown an addiction, especially if I have a stressful day and I feel like I could really use something right now," Nadeau said. 

For more information from the CDC, click here.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

Jame Gumb

These idiots are buying garbage products from questionable internet sources that are laced with acetate. THC isn't the problem, nor is the 100's of food-grade quality juices on the market. Temporary bans on flavored juices won't fix the acetate problem. If these idiots want THC, just buy weed and smoke it the old fashioned way instead of inhaling a chemical stew from China.

Jame Gumb

These idiots are buying garbage products from questionable internet sources that are laced with acetate. THC isn't the problem, nor is the 100's of food-grade quality juices on the market. Temporary bans on flavored juices won't fix the acetate problem. If these idiots want THC, just buy weed and smoke it the old fashioned way instead of inhaling a chemical stew from China.

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