Health officials, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are urging people to avoid vaping until authorities can determine what's behind a life-threatening condition associated with the products.

At least three Americans have died from so-called "vaping illness," and officials are reviewing more than 450 possible cases across 33 states, including nine reported in Louisiana over the past two weeks.

“As the word gets out more, we anticipate that we’ll have more cases reported to us,” Dr. Joseph Kanter, assistant state health officer at the Department of Health, told The Advocate newspaper in a story reprinted in The Courier and Daily Comet.

The lung ailment's symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever and weight loss, the story notes. State officials advised doctors to ask all patients who report using e-cigarettes within the past 90 days about signs and symptoms. And those who using vaping products and experience symptoms should see a doctor.

Meanwhile, the CDC's message is clear.

“Until we have a cause and while this investigation is ongoing, we’re recommending individuals consider not using e-cigarettes,” Dana Meaney-Delman, who is overseeing the agency's response, told CBS News on Friday. “As more information comes about and we can narrow down the specific e-cigarette products, we intend to revise that.”

A story about the development was one of the most popular on The Courier and Daily Comet's Facebook pages last week. Several readers posted that they have been using vaping products without any problems.

"Meanwhile, 6,500 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses in Louisiana," one person commented. "This is small potatoes. Just fearmongering from the tobacco industry to protect their profits. Everything you do carries risk. Still much safer than smoking."

Inhaling almost any foreign substance comes with a risk, and you'll find plenty of health experts who will advise against doing it at all.

At this point, no definitive link has been proven between vaping and these mysterious illnesses. But health experts note that the evidence is sufficient for concern. Just how much of a concern is a decision those who use these products now have to make.

Editorials represent the opinion of this newspaper and not any single individual.