Now some subset of these merchandise is causing a critical lung illness that even cigarettes, when lethal in the lengthy run, do not lead to in young persons. Lobbyists and business officials in each industries are scrambling to blame unregulated merchandise.

The spate of illnesses has produced news once again of Juul Labs, maker of the blockbuster e-cigarette device blamed for the surge in teenage vaping. In a tv interview, Kevin Burns, the company’s chief executive, mentioned he did not know of proof linking the current instances to Juul’s merchandise.

On lung scans, the illnesses appear at initial like a critical viral or bacterial pneumonia, but tests show no infection. “We’ve run all these tests seeking for bacteria, seeking for viruses and coming up adverse,” mentioned Dr. Dixie Harris, a essential care pulmonologist in Salt Lake City, who has consulted on 4 such sufferers and reviewed case files of nine other people in the state.

On Aug. six, Dr. Harris was operating in a Salt Lake City-region hospital — she declined to offer additional detail in order to defend patient privacy rights — when she was known as to the intensive care unit to seek the advice of on a patient with the extreme lung ailment.

The patient was in his 20s and a heavy e-cigarette user who also vaped THC.

She later consulted with two dozen hospitals about the state on sufferers with challenging pulmonary or essential care difficulties. “I saw a second case,” she mentioned. “I’m like, ‘Wait a second, this is weird — two hospitals, two young persons, virtually identical story.’”

The subsequent morning, she known as Dr. Joseph Miner, the chief healthcare officer for the Utah state well being division, who told her he would attempt to figure out what was going on.

In the ensuing weeks, Dr. Harris saw two other sufferers firsthand and reviewed nine other instances for the hospital group exactly where she functions, Intermountain Healthcare, which has 24 hospitals in Utah and Idaho. She mentioned the initial 10 instances had been from eight distinctive hospitals more than all, the state of Utah reported 21 instances.