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Severe Pulmonary Disease Among People who Use E-Cigarettes

As of September 11, 2019, the CDC was investigating 380 confirmed and probable cases of severe pulmonary illnesses possibly linked to e-cigarette use, also known as vaping in 36 states. Additionally, six deaths associated with severe pulmonary illness have occurred.  Patients presented with respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms reported by some patients included fever, chest pain, weight loss, nausea, and diarrhea. No infectious cause was identified with these patients. All patients have reported vaping in the weeks and months prior to illness. Products used by patients may contain THC, CBD, nicotine, flavors and other chemicals. 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.

At this time, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) has not identified a confirmed case in Montana but is actively working with local health departments to investigate possible affected persons. DPHHS is also coordinating with federal and state partners on continued surveillance, including case definition and case investigation.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider. If it is a medical emergency call 9-1-1 or the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).

Healthcare providers treating patients with recent e-cigarette use and respiratory illness similar to cases described by clinicians in Illinois, Wisconsin  and North Carolina are asked to notify their local health department.  Additional guidance can be found here.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Notices and Media Statements

CDC’s Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Clinical Action Message

CDC Media Statement: CDC, states investigating severe pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes

Information on e-cigarettes and the known associated health risks

            E-cigarettes, Vapes & JUUL: The New Nicotine Addiction in Montana

            CDC Infographic Electronic Cigarettes: What’s the Bottom Line

            Educate Young Patients about the Risk of E-cigarettes

Need help quitting?

Montana Tobacco Quit Line – For help quitting tobacco, including e-cigarettes, visit quitnowmontana.com or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

My Life, My Quit – Youth (anyone under the age of 18) who need help quitting tobacco, including e-cigarettes, can text “Start my Quit” to 1-855-891-9989 or visit mylifemyquit.com.

To report concerns about a tobacco or e-cigarette product, contact the Federal Food and Drug Administration through the FDA Safety Reporting Portal.

Media Contact

Jon Ebelt
DPHHS Public Information Officer
(406) 444-0936