Severe Lung Illness Associated with Vaping

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Many states, including Virginia, have recently reported cases of severe lung disease among teenagers and young adults with a history of “vaping” (i.e., practice of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device).

SYMPTOMS

Reported symptoms include cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, with symptoms growing worse over days or weeks leading to difficulty breathing or admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, chest pain, nausea and diarrhea.

LINK BETWEEN VAPING & DISEASE

Patients report vaping in the weeks and months before becoming ill. A variety of vaping products have been used by people who developed this severe illness; no  specific product has been linked with the disease. Many of those with illness vaped marijuana oil, extracts, or concentrates (also known as “dabbing”). Anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.

SEEKING CARE

Severe respiratory illness is a newly recognized complication of vaping. Patients with a history of vaping who are experiencing breathing problems should seek medical care right away. Youth are discouraged from using vaping and e-cigarette products of any kind as the full spectrum of adverse health impacts using these products is unknown.

REPORT RESPIRATORY ILLNESS

Health care providers should be on the lookout for cases of severe respiratory illness among teenagers and young adults, and ask about recent vaping, dabbing or e-cigarette use. Cases should be reported to the local Health Department.

QUIT NOW VIRGINIA

Virginians who want to quit smoking or other nicotine products can get information and coaching by telephone or online. Call 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669) | www. vdh.virginia.gov/tobacco-free-living/quit-nowvirginia/

 

E-cigarettes can contain harmful or potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals (e.g., lead), volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing  chemicals. Youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not use e-cigarettes. If you use e-cigarette  products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breaths, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health.

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