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Vaping Related Lung Illness: A Summary of the Public Health Risks and Recommendations for the Public

Vaping Related Lung Illness: A Summary of the Public Health Risks and Recommendations for the Public

California Department of Public Health Health Advisory – September 24, 2019

This health advisory seeks to inform the public about the imminent public health risks posed by vaping any product, including the use of electronic cigarettes (e‐ cigarettes), as vaping has recently been linked to severe breathing problems, lung damage, and even death.

Vaping is inhaling aerosol from an e-cigarette or other vaping device that heats a liquid that can contain nicotine, marijuana (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) or other substances. The shapes and sizes of these devices vary and include colorful vape pens, modified tank systems, and new pod-based devices that can look like USB flash drives, cell phones, credit card holders, and highlighters. These devices are frequently referred to as e-cigarettes, e‐cigs, vapes, vape pens, electronic vaporizers, pod mods, or pod systems.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges everyone to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source, until current investigations are complete. Since June 2019, CDPH has received reports that 90 people in California who have a history of vaping were hospitalized for severe breathing problems and lung damage, and two people have died. Across the U.S., there are over 500 reports of lung damage associated with vaping across 38 states and 1 U.S. territory, and more reports are coming in nearly every day.

CDPH, along with other states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), local health departments, and healthcare providers are working hard to investigate what is in the vape materials that is making people sick. Although CDPH regulates manufacturers of cannabis vaping products to ensure they are as safe as possible for those who choose to vape, CDPH warns that individuals put themselves at risk any time they inhale a foreign substance into their lungs. The risk of vaping now includes death. CDC continues to warn that any tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe, especially for youth, 2 pregnant, and breastfeeding women.

Read Full Health Advisory