Health Alert: Vaping-Related Respiratory Illness

Friday, September 13, 2019

 

Updated: December 3, 2019

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung disease associated with vaping and e-cigarette products (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use, especially those containing THC.

Please refer to the following information from the CDC and the FDA:

What We Know

  • As of November 13, 2019, 2172, lung injury cases associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported to CDC from the District of Columbia, one U.S. territory (USVI) and 49 states (all except Alaska).
  • 42 deaths have been confirmed in 24 states.
  • THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.
  • The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.

What We Don’t Know

  • At this time, FDA and CDC have not identified the cause or causes of the lung injuries in these cases, and the only commonality among all cases is that patients report the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
  • No one compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak. Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation.

What CDC Recommends

  • CDC has released interim recommendations for healthcare providers, health departments, and the public.
  • Until we know more, if you are concerned about these specific health risks, CDC recommends that you consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products.
  • If you are an adult who used e-cigarettes containing nicotine to quit cigarette smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes.

Regardless of the ongoing investigation:

Reported symptoms of vape-related respiratory illnesses include the gradual onset of:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain 
  • Mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea
  • Other symptoms such as fevers or fatigue

If you have recently used an e-cigarette or vaping product and you have symptoms like those reported in this outbreak see a healthcare provider.

For more information, please visit the CDC website. 

 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and need medical assistance, please contact Health & Wellness at (603) 862-9355 or make an appointment online.

If you would like to reduce/quit your vape use, please contact Living Well Services at (603) 862-3823 or make an appointment online with a Health Educator.

Visit the Truth Initiative for additional apps/resources specific to quitting vape products.