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Epi News

Health Advisory: Severe pulmonary disease associated with using e-cigarette products

Brianne Probasco

There are no confirmed or suspect cases pulmonary disease associated with using e-cigarette products in Grays Harbor County.

215 cases have been reported to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention from 25 states and others are under investigation.  E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, most also contain flavorings and other chemicals, and some may contain marijuana or other substances. They are known by many different names and come in many shapes, sizes and device types. Devices may be referred to as “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” “mods,” “tanks,” or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Some e-cigarette devices resemble other tobacco products such as cigarettes; some resemble ordinary household items such as USB flash drives, pens, and flashlights; and others have unique shapes. Use of e-cigarettes is sometimes referred to as “vaping” or “juuling.” E-cigarettes used for dabbing are sometimes called “dab” pens. 

 Recommendation for clinicians :

1. Report cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and a history of e-cigarette product use within the past 90 days to your state health department. Reporting of cases may help CDC and state health departments determine the cause or causes of these pulmonary illnesses. (Hospitals only)

2. Ask all patients who report e-cigarette product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of pulmonary illness.

3. If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible etiology of a patient’s severe pulmonary disease, obtain detailed history.

4. Determine if any remaining product, including devices and liquids, are available for testing. Testing can be coordinated with the state health departments.

 Recommendation for the public :

1. While this investigation is ongoing, if you are concerned about the risks, stop using e-cigarette products.

2. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products. 

3. If you are concerned about harmful effects from e-cigarette products, call your local poison control center at: 1-800-222-1222.

4. We encourage 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 Portal: https://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov


EPI NEWS is faxed to healthcare offices during events of public health significance.  Please share or post so that others may see this.  Sign up for Epi News by email at:  lleitz@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.

Health Alert: Immediate action needed
Health Update: Updated information on Alert or Advisory

Health Advisory: May require immediate action
Info Service: Not of an emergent nature