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Thai Authorities Launch Crackdown on Banned e-Cigarettes

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Thai authorities have launched a crackdown on banned e-cigarettes, seizing thousands of items in the past three weeks.  E-cigarettes have been outlawed in Thailand since 2014 while many are calling for legalization of the devices.

Police and consumer protection agency on Wednesday told a press briefing that they launched the latest operation on Saturday. Police arrested 10 people for possessing nearly 600 e-cigarette devices and 5,000 bottles of e-liquid for sale.

Since late September, they also raided shops and vendors illegally selling e-cigarettes at various locations.

E-cigarettes remain subject of debate in Thailand over their perceived health benefits or harmful side effects. Health activists say vape has lured more young people into smoking and addiction.

E-cigarettes and Vaping Devices in USA

Meanwhile in the US, vaping-related lung injury cases have jumped to 1,080 and deaths to 18, but the specific causes of the illnesses are also still not clear.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a Mayo Clinic study that shows “toxic chemical fumes,” not oils, may be to blame for vaping-related illnesses.

The CDC, said the number of cases are increasing at a “brisk pace” and involve “really serious injuries.”

The center recommends that people also refrain from using vaping products, particular those using THC. The principal psychoactive compound in marijuana. Nearly four in five cases involved people vaping products with THC, alone or with nicotine.

While the CDC said the cause of the illnesses is still also under investigation, the Mayo Clinic study says the cause may be “toxic chemical fumes.”

The findings, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, were based on the biopsies of 17 people with confirmed or possible cases of vaping-related lung injuries, including two patients who died.

All of the subjects had a history of vaping; 71% of them used marijuana or cannabis oils.