By Miriam Raftery
August 23, 2019 (San Diego) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued a press release warning the public about a cluster of pulmonary illnesses possibly related to e-cigarette use or “vaping,” primarily among adolescents and young adults. At least 149 cases have been reported by 15 states, including California from June 28 through August 20.
FDA encourages the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco- or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portalexternal icon. While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses.
While the CDC has not confirmed a cause, all of the patients used e-cigarette products and there is no evidence of any infections disease.
In many cases, patients reported a gradual start of symptoms including breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization. Some cases reported mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea and fatigue as well.
In many cases, patients have acknowledged recent use of products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, however, no specific product has been identified in all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to illnesses.
The Food and Drug Administration is working with the CDC and state officials to gather information on products and substances used, also providing technical and laboratory assistance as the investigation continues.
CDC notified U.S. healthcare systems and clinicians about the illnesses and what to watch for via a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Clinical Action Message.
For information on electronic cigarettes, visit www.cdc.gov/e-cigarettes.