CDC, FDA, State and Local Health Departments Investigate Vaping Products

Clinicians Encouraged to Report Cases to Local or State Health Departments

October 9, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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 injury associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. They encourage clinicians to report possible cases of e-cigarette or vaping-associated injury to local or state health departments, as outlined in the Health Alert Network (HAN).

E-cigarettes have come under regulatory and public scrutiny as a mysterious, deadly vaping illness continues to claim lives. As of October 1, 2019, the CDC has identified at least 1,080 lung injury cases and 18 confirmed deaths in 15 states. Most patients identified vaped THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, according to the CDC. Seventeen percent said they exclusively used nicotine.

CDC has released two e-books on severe pulmonary disease associated with electronic-cigarette use:

“Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Electronic-Cigarette–Product Use — Interim Guidance”; and “Outbreak of Electronic-Cigarette–Associated Acute Lipoid Pneumonia — North Carolina, July–August 2019”. Based on available information, the disease is likely caused by an unknown chemical exposure; no single product or substance is conclusively linked to the disease. Until a definitive cause is known, persons should consider not using e-cigarettes. Those who use e-cigarettes should seek medical attention for any health concerns.

With usage rising to a level the FDA has called an “epidemic” and heightened scrutiny, the Trump administration is readying a federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Michigan, San Francisco, and Boulder, Colorado, have banned flavored e-cigarettes. In late September and early October, according to news outlets, Walmart and Kroger said they are discontinuing sale of e-cigarettes.

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CDC Health Alert Network