Cases of vaping-related lung infections continue to rise

(NBC News) – Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Federal Drug Administration testified before Congress Wednesday about the rapidly growing vaping-illness epidemic.

“I expect this weeks numbers to be hundreds higher than what we reported last week,” the CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat warned.

Amid news of a ninth death attributed to the lung infections, lawmakers asked pointed questions of the FDA’s acting commissioner about why the agency didn’t respond more quickly.

“There was a massive regulatory failure to allow this happen was there not?” asked Representative Joe Kennedy.

“Speaking about the epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes, in retrospect, the FDA should have acted sooner, we should have begun regulating these devices sooner,” acting commissioner Dr. Norman Sharpless replied.

Half of those sickened are under 25, and three quarters are male.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Juul stepped down Wednesday as the company, one of the largest manufacturers of e-cigarettes, announced it’s pulling all advertising in the United States.

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