Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.
This week we tackle the following:
- Milwaukee urges people to stop vaping immediately amid lung disease outbreak - There are 16 confirmed cases in cases in Wisconsin
- 5 People In Maryland Have Severe Lung Illnesses After Using E-Cigarettes, Health Department Says - Respiratory symptoms reported by patients
- FTC is reportedly investigating Juul’s marketing practices - The FTC began its investigation before Altria took a stake in Juul
- The best identity theft protection and monitoring services for 2019 - CNET compared the top identity monitoring services
"We continue to learn more about the health effects associated with e-cigarettes," Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said in a statement. "As the public health authority for the city, the MHD is committed to protecting the public from the dangers of secondhand exposure."
The city urged people to immediately contact their doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms: anorexia, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, nausea, chest pain, or shortness of breath.
These cases are part of the nearly 200 reported incidents of vaping-related illness in 22 states- resulting in at least one death.
“The Maryland Department of Health is taking this issue seriously and is working with local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to identify anyone who may be experiencing similar symptoms,” said MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Frances B. Phillips.
The official cause of these illnesses is not yet known and hasn’t been linked to any particular device, substance or brand.
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether e-cigarette maker Juul used deceptive marketing and targeted minors, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the investigation.
The FTC is considering seeking monetary damages, the Journal reported, citing one of the people. The FTC, which polices marketing activities, began its investigation in September 2018, the Journal reported. Tobacco giant Altria later took a 35% stake in Juul, which was launched in 2015 and is privately held, for $12.8 billion. Shares of Altria slid by more than 3% on Thursday.
Unfortunately, you may need one of these protection services soon, if you don't already. That's because identity theft is a massive and growing problem, with more enormous data breaches hitting victims with increasing regularity. In 2016 alone, there were more than 15 million US identity fraud cases, with identity theft victims losing more than $16 billion not to mention untold damage to credit reports. The 2017 Equifax breach was the icing on a very bad cake -- one that got even worse in the months that followed. More recently, the Starwood Marriott breach compromised the personal information of more than 380 million guests, including more than 5 million passport numbers.